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  • Writer's pictureDavid Ambrose

Patrol Boat Victoria on the job

Victoria rumbled slowly towards the blue luxury boat and twenty-five minutes later its starboard side was alongside the starboard side of the drifting craft about six hundred metres away. There was still no sign of life on board the expensive boat. The MGS was aimed at the vessel, and three sailors stood along the cutter’s starboard side aiming M16 rifles at the seemingly abandoned boat.

Captain Aberdeen hailed the vessel using the external PA system. There was no response. Surely, by now someone should’ve heard our engines, he thought. He hailed the vessel again, this time in English and Spanish. There was no way anyone from the outside could see through the tinted glass windows of the luxury boat. So they didn’t know if anyone was looking at them. The captain had now positively identified it as a Hatteras 60.

St. Paul said, “Sir, I recommend we send a boarding party to check it out.”

Aberdeen agreed and ordered his Second Officer to take four men to see what was taking place on that boat. Could pirates have raided it? It looked like it was almost new.

“Be careful,” he implored his XO. “Make sure everyone is fully armed. And take a sixty with you.”

A few minutes later, St. Paul and four sailors were aboard the rigid inflatable boat in the slipway in the aft of Victoria being lowered into the agitated waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Four of the men carried M16 rifles while the fifth sailor laid at the bow aiming an M60 machine gun ahead of them. The remaining men on the Coast Guard cutter watched tensely as the RIB skipped across the sea surface, its inboard diesel engine pushing it at twenty knots.

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