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Maritime Sniper Team Intercept SmUgglers In the Caribbean

27.07.2008

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.

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