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Exclusive: on-board HMS Dragon on arrival into Portsmouth

HMS Dragon docked at Portsmouth Photo: ITV Meridian

ITV has been given an exclusive look on-board HMS Dragon as she made her way back home to Portsmouth on Friday.

During a seven month deployment in the Middle East, the Type 45 Destroyer seized more than 18,000kg of narcotics.

  • Watch Matt Price's exclusive report below:

HMS Dragon docked at around 11:30am and those working on-board were excited to be reunited with friends and family.

Hundreds had gathered at the docks with banners and balloons to welcome them back.

Sailors on HMS Dragon lined up to wave from the ship Credit: ITV Meridian
Families waited excitedly to meet their loved ones after seven months apart Credit: ITV Meridian
A marching band added to the joyous atmosphere at the dock Credit: ITV Meridian

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  • WATCH: The reactions of families as they reunited with loved ones

Emotions were running high as families, friends and partners met after months apart.

Some people were introduced to family members for the first time!

  • Watch Mary Stanley's full report below:

The warship is the most successful Royal Navy vessel to conduct counter drugs operations, seizing more than one hundred million pounds worth of illegal drugs.

Since deploying to the Middle East in September 2018, the ship has now racked up a record haul of drugs from criminals they have hunted down across the open seas.

This includes seizing 17,786kg of hash, 455kg of heroin, and 9kg of crystal meth, totalling more than £145m.

The war ship is the most successful Royal Navy vessel to conduct counter drugs operations

HMS Dragon has been working in the Middle East as part of the Combined Task Force 150, a multi-national organisation responsible for maintaining security in some of the world’s shipping lanes.

The highlights have been six successful drug seizures - record breaking for the royal navy and for the combined maritime forces in the gulf region. It's just fantastic to have some tangible reward and success off the back of the hard work of the team...they have been absolutely superb."

– Commander Michael Carter Quinn