Royal Navy Warship Visits Seychelles Islands
HMS Echo has visited the Seychelles Islands whose Coast Guard has been working with the Royal Navy to prevent piracy in the Indian Ocean and make the area safer for all seafarers.
The combined efforts of the Royal Navy and the Seychelles Coast Guard over recent months have seen successful disruption of illegal activities and the capture of suspected pirates operating in the Indian Ocean.
HMS Echo recently berthed alongside Port Victoria in Mahé, giving the ship’s company a chance to relax and more importantly interact with local residents.
The ship also hosted nine personnel on board, a mixture of officers and ratings from the Seychelles Coast Guard, who spent the day learning how to fight fires alongside Navy personnel.
The group were capably hosted by the expert in damage control and emergency action on board, Petty Officer ‘Shady’ Lane.
Petty Officer Lane, alongside the emergency party, demonstrated the importance of each of the firefighting positions, from the initial attack party to the re-entry team.
Their Seychelles counterparts got fully involved with the teams, each getting hands-on experience of our firefighting methods and equipment.
A number of the Seychelles Coast Guard personnel also put to sea in Echo’s Pacific 22 sea boat to experience the thrill of high speed sea boat operations.
Echo’s Commanding Officer, Commander Mike O’Sullivan, said:
“It was great to take the opportunity to renew Echo’s close relationship with the Seychelles Coast Guard.
“A greater understanding between the Royal Navy and the Coast Guard teams helps us to work closely together in ensuring the safety of navigation for all mariners sailing the Indian Ocean.”
Echo also embarked a number of sea riders for the day – although in this case they were not from the Navy’s training teams, but the British High Commission in the Seychelles.
This provided an opportunity to allow those who prosecute pirates to get a taste of what life is like on the ocean waves, and Royal Navy personnel demonstrated a number of dramatic scenarios commencing with emergency calls to hands, and leading to a fire on the ship, which was successfully extinguished.
One visitor from the High Commission commented:
“It is quite amazing how efficiently and successfully these incredibly dangerous incidents are dealt with.
“For these people to go into what could be potentially life-threatening situations – without even the blink of an eye – must be a testament to the training they receive.”
The embarked members of the British High Commission also talked informally to the ship’s company about how they make every effort to bring suspected pirates to face justice, and who have seen to date a 100 per cent conviction rate.
Naval Today Staff , February 15, 2012; Image: mod