Philipsburg- During a regular patrol, the Zr. Ms. Friesland Marine ship entered a suspicious boat that sailed under the Venezuelan flag in the Caribbean Sea. The suspect boat stood out because of a different position and sailing behavior.
The suspicious boat was discovered at night thanks to the excellent sensors of the NH90 maritime helicopter currently on board Zr.Ms. Friesland is emptied. After the Friesland had shadowed the contact for several hours, the NH90 was used for an approach to examine the contact further. On this the suspect boat changed course. Then Zr.Ms. Friesland, together with one of its fast FRISC interceptors, sailed towards the suspicious contact, after which a number of parcels were immediately dumped by the crew of the suspect boat in the water.
The packages were removed from the water by the interceptor and brought on board the Zr.Ms. Friesland. After a check it turned out to be no less than 406 kilos of cocaine. The drugs have been investigated and destroyed this morning.
The commander of Zr.Ms. Friesland, captain-lieutenant at sea Nicole Kuipers, is positive about the successful action: “The interception was excellent teamwork between the crew of Zr.Ms. Friesland, the NH90 helicopter and the members of the Coast Guard of Sint Maarten who are currently embarked aboard the ship”, said Kuipers.
Zr.Ms. Friesland is an Oceangoing Patrol Vessel of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The ship will be active in the Caribbean until the end of November as a Stationship. Besides drug control operations, the ship is also ready for rescue operations and emergency humanitarian aid.