Prince William, despite being a British Army officer, is currently serving in the Royal Navy, onboard the frigate HMS Iron Duke.

This is so he can get experience in each major branch of the British Armed Forces before he becomes King.

Hi ship on which he was serving has been involved in a major cocaine bust.....

Prince William's Navy ship pulls off 40million cocaine bust during his first week at sea

By Rebecca English
02nd July 2008
Daily Mail

Prince William has played a key role in the seizure of 40million worth of cocaine from smugglers in the Caribbean during his first week at sea with the Royal Navy.

The second-in-line to the throne was part of team on board a Lynx helicopter which spotted a speedboat several hundred miles north-east of Barbados.

The 50-ft craft was ordered to stop and armed US coastguards rushed on board, where they found nearly a ton of cocaine.

Bust: The Royal Navy frigate, HMS Iron Duke, with Prince William on board, seizes 40million worth of cocaine from a white speedboat off the cost of Barbados

William, 26, is currently on a month-long posting with HMS Iron Duke which conducted the joint operation with the US Coast Guard on Saturday.

The frigate intercepted an ocean-going speedboat at 5pm British time at an undisclosed location north east of Barbados which suggested the boat had been en route to Europe or West Africa.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency, in association with the British-led Maritime Analysis and Operation Centre in Lisbon, was involved in the coordination of the operation together with other law enforcement agencies.

Haul: Crew from the British Navy ship handle huge packages of drugs

The 50ft power boat - of a type commonly referred to as a 'go-fast' - was spotted by the ship's Lynx helicopter and was instructed to stop.

With such a small vessel, so far out to sea and fitting the profile of a 'go-fast', suspicions were immediately raised.

Personnel of the United States Coast Guard detachment on board the frigate subsequently boarded the vessel.

It was during this boarding that 45 bales of cocaine, weighing a total of 900kg, were discovered, seized and transferred to HMS Iron Duke, and the boat's crew of five men were detained.

Sailor: William is on a month-long placement aboard the Iron Duke

The boat itself transpired to be in very poor condition and actually sank a short time later.

As the North Atlantic Patrol vessel, HMS Iron Duke's primary role is to provide a UK presence in the region reassuring and supporting UK Overseas Territories, Commonwealth countries and other friendly nations.

This includes being ready to provide assistance in the event of a natural disaster.

Iron Duke's deployment lasts for the core hurricane season, from June to October.

Alongside that core role, the ship also has embarked a United States Coast Guard team to conduct Counter Drugs operations.

Working alongside US teams, the Royal Navy is well placed to assist in restricting the flow of cocaine out of Central America.

Speaking from the frigate's bridge yesterday, Commander Mark Newland told the Mail: 'This was a very challenging operation that unfolded over three days.

'Sub-Lt Wales was an integral part of the team and as an army officer trained in surveillance added real value to it. This was a major operation and we don't take people along for joy rides.'

He revealed William was in the Lynx as they narrowed down their search for the boat and tracked it along with the pilot, a flight commander, two Royal Marine snipers and a representative from the US coastguard.

The aircraft then hovered overhead as a group of young sailors battled for 14 hours in rough seas - often in complete darkness - to enable a boarding party to seize the speedboat and its cocaine cargo.

'It was a real team effort. The operation to board the boat took an immense amount of skill from a group of very young lads who really deserve a pat on the back, ' he said.

He also put paid to suggestions that William was enjoying another 'jolly' in the Caribbean.

''The conditions out here are pretty unstable, its the start of the hurricane season and its been raining heavily with gusts of winds at up to 40 knots. Believe me, it's not pretty.
'That said, Sub-Lt Wales has proved to be a very good sailor with no hint of sea-sickness yet.'

An MoD spokesman denied that the raid had been set up for William's benefit, saying: 'This is part of Iron Duke's duties, day in day out.'

But it will go some way to restoring the prince's reputation following criticism of his decision to use an RAF helicopter for a series of 'jaunts'which cost the tax-payer 50,000.

These included flying him to his cousin's stag do on the Isle of Wight and visiting girlfriend Kate Middleton's house, both of which were justified as essential training exercises.