3am. Hong Kong Harbour. A single hulled, motorboat powers through the night; water and sky melded in inky blackness. A two-way radio continues issuing short, sharp instructions to the boat’s driver. A second man stands beside him at the centre console.
“Chaser 1, Mother. Target bearing 110 degrees, speed 50 knots, inbound through Tolo Harbour. Steer 100 degrees”
The driver complies, feathering the wheel ever so slightly in the direction of something yet unseen. He maintains his speed as the boat cuts through the chop of the unsettled sea.
After a minute or so the crew pick up the faint but familiar scent of two-stroke in the air. If their hearts weren’t pumping double time before, they are now. Last minute equipment checks like a mantra in their heads: SA80 loaded and a round chambered, safety off; 9mm Browning pistol loaded and lethal; Baton, check; Flare gun, check.
Scanning ahead into the black the two Royal Marine Commandos know what to look for next and sure enough see the tell of their enemy ahead of them. The faint glimmer of churned white water: the wake of a boat. It’s 1992 and Britannia still rules these particular waves (for the next 5 years at least).
The Commando Coxswain now has crumbs to follow and the crumbs soon became the whole bakery as the agitated waters take on more and more the shape of the target boat’s covert path through the harbour.
Soon, on their left the two soldiers casually acknowledged the arrival of their teammates in the second boat, a mirror of themselves. The two teams now begin to work in unison as they close on the pirates.
Driven by two 200hp Mercury outboards, the RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) known to the Royal Marines as a Fast Pursuit Craft are designed for this kind of tactic. They are vectored in blindly by a Royal Navy ship issuing commands based on radar signals. The Commandos intercept the smugglers boat and then box the target in on opposite sides. The intention is to capture the criminals and arrest them peacefully. Alas this is not always the case as we are soon to find out.Read part two! Taff's Story - Part 2 - Secret Squirrel Shit