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Title:HMS BRAVE IN THE CARIBBEAN, DECEMBER 1995 [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ADM 6566
Other titles:ROYAL NAVY VIDEOS: 1990s [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Unedited coverage of the frigate HMS Brave during a deployment to the Caribbean, December 1995. Accompanying Brave's crew are a LEDET (Law Enforcement Detachment) from USCG (the United States Coast Guard) who are helping to counter drug smuggling operations in the Caribbean.
Description: (Tape 1) Members of HMS Brave's crew with members of the USCG LEDET on deck. Small assault boat is lowered over the side and US Coast Guard members climb on board and set off to intercept a small civilian cabin cruiser nearby. Scenes of the crew gathering en masse on the helicopter deck and singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", followed by individual shots of crewmen (some in drag) and captain recording informal messages for Westcountry Television. Helicopter take-off. Preparation for RAS (replenishment at sea) - RFA vessel (RFA Oakleaf) is contacted using an Aldis lamp. (34 minutes)
(Tape 2) Scenes of liquid RAS (replenishment at sea) from RFA Oakleaf (A111). Crew members record Christmas messages home. Various shots of the US Navy Spruance Class destroyer USS John Hancock (981) passing alongside. Rapid roping practice on helideck from airborne Lynx helicopter. (34 minutes)
(Tape 3) Further shots of rapid roping shot from the helideck on board HMS Brave. Extended aerial shots show HMS Brave in the Caribbean at dusk. (Camera-helicopter lands back on board after nightfall.) (30 minutes)
(Tape 4) Members of the USCG LEDET on board HMS Brave intercept a "go-fast" (high speed boat used by smugglers/drug runners) using a small assault boat; USCG keeps in touch via radio. The go-fast is boarded, and prisoners are brought back one-by-one to HMS Brave, where they are handcuffed and processed on Q Deck. Interview with Commander Tony Johnson-Bird, Brave's captain, about the seizure (most of the drugs having been ditched overboard and were not recovered but the crew were in custody and would be handed over to the Jamaican Defence Force). (21 minutes)
(Tape 5) Drug smugglers in their go-fast ditches their cargo of drugs. Also shots of HMS Brave. (8 minutes)
(Tape 6) Retrieval operation of drugs packages thrown overboard from smuggler's boat; helicopter is used for spotting the large parcels. The recovered drugs are stored in the hold. (7 minutes)
Production Details: Directorate of Public Relations (Navy) Film and Photographic (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: Colour
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: None
Subtitle language: None
Technical Details: Format: Beta-SP
Number of items/reels/tapes: 6
Footage: 30; Running time: 134 mins
Notes: Summary (Tapes 4-6): in November 1993, the concept of deploying USCG Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs) aboard Royal Navy vessels in the Caribbean was formalised. This led to the drugs bust featured here, which took place on December 12 1995 120 miles from Anguilla.
Technical: (Tapes 4-6): Tape 4 was originally numbered "Tape 5" by DPR(N), suggesting that the is a missing Original Tape 4. Tapes 5 and 6 (originally "Tape 6" and "Edited Highlights") are short dubs of material not held elsewhere, possibly from the missing Tape 4; Tape 5/6 is actually labelled "Dub from VHS", although the quality is reasonable and the footage is relevant.