Maritime Sniper Team Intercept SmUgglers In the Caribbean
Reports have been coming in of a dramatic intercept of a drug smuggling speedboat by the Royal Navy warship HMS Iron Duke in the Caribbean.
During one operation the warship deployed its Maritime Sniper Team (MST) to engage a 'go fast' boat as it attempted to flee across open sea 110 miles north of the Venezuela-Colombia coast on the afternoon of Friday, July 18.
Maritime Sniper Team are Royal Marines Commandos from the Fleet Protection Group. The snipers use a high caliber rifle, usually a L121A1 .50 caliber weapon (some reports state that a L1115 .338 weapon is sometimes used) fitted with a red dot EOTEC sight. The .50 cal round fired by the L121A1 is powerful enough to disable the engines on the target boat. Royal Navy/Royal Marines personnel, aboard a RHIB launched from the mothership, typically then secure the smugglers, their vessel and any contraband that hasn't been ditched overboard.
This latest incident comes not long after a similar intercept on July 3rd, involving HMS Iron Duke, again with the Maritime Sniper Team used to stop a smuggler's boat. The July 3rd made global news as HRH Prince William was a passenger on board the Lynx helicopter carrying the MST at the time of the intercept.
- HMS Iron Duke scuppers drug-running suspects
(MOD Defence News)