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HMS Manchester to visit BVI

Thursday, February 24 – An upcoming visit by Royal Navy ship, HMS Manchester, was the focus of discussion today when Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE received a courtesy call from an official of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Caribbean Defence Adviser attached to the British High Commission in Jamaica, Colonel Neil Salisbury, explained that the visit by a Royal Navy ship has become an annual routine and usually coincides with the start of the hurricane season.

The actual date for the visit is not yet confirmed but Colonel Salisbury said while here, “HMS Manchester will assist with a disaster management exercise which will be done in collaboration with the Department of Disaster Management.”

Colonel Salisbury added, “Each time a Royal Navy ship visits we try to engage in a little bit of disaster relief work and some counter-narcotics activity as well. You would recall that last year, the HMS Iron Duke visited and just prior to her arrival here, she was engaged in seizure of five and a half tonnes of cocaine in an operation conducted off the coast of South America which was the largest narcotics seizure in the Royal Navy’s history.”

In addition to the Virgin Islands, the HMS Manchester will also visit the other British overseas territories. Colonel Salisbury is making similar preparatory visits to the other territories. He told the Department of Information and Public Relations he was in Montserrat on Tuesday and will be traveling to the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday, February 25.

The Virgin Islands and other overseas territories of the United Kingdom are provided with assistance through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a number of areas, including disaster management.

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