UK’s Royal navy patrol ship stopped £204m of cocaine reaching Britain’s streets after a night-time pursuit in the Caribbean Sea.

The Portsmouth-based HMS Trent ship has seized £511m of drugs across five operations in the Caribbean since deploying to the region in December.

Across five months of operations, the ship has seized 6,390kg of drugs worth £511m on Britain’s streets.

The patrol ship was alerted to potential smugglers by a United States maritime patrol aircraft and used her powerful radars to track down a go-fast boat matching the reported course and speed.

The call “hands to boarding stations” was raised, the signal for the ship’s boarding team of sailors, Royal Marines and US Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team personnel to prepare to stop and search the vessel.

As Trent closed in and darkness fell, the seaboats pounced and the chase was on.

The go-fast was hopelessly weighed down by its illegal cargo and to evade capture, the crew began jettisoning bale after bale of cocaine.

As the go-fast escaped, accelerating to nearly 50mph, the sheer amount of cargo left behind became apparent.

“Every direction we looked in, there was cocaine bales, we knew this was a big haul, they must have ditched the entire cargo to escape,” said a Royal Marine, who cannot be named for operational reasons.

The recovery operation went on through the night and eventually 2,548kg of cocaine was recovered back to Trent.

“Considering the time lapse from the previous night’s chase, we were able to factor in the drift and calculate the area where the bales should be,” explained HMS Trent’s First Lieutenant, who cannot be named for operational reasons.

“We calculated right, the look outs did a superb job picking out the bales against the wider ocean.”