HMS Cattistock to Return to Poole, UK

HMS Cattistock to Return to Poole, UK

Royal Navy warship HMS Cattistock will return to her affiliated town of Poole on Friday, May 11 for the second time in just two months, during which the ship will be open to visitors.

The 750-tonne Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessel (MCMV) will go alongside Town Quay for five days, departing on Wednesday May 16.

It is a short time since the ship’s previous visit in support of the official opening of the Twin Sails Bridge in early March.

Unusually, though, she’s back in town to give local people a further opportunity to get up close and personal with this thoroughly modern warship when she opens her gangway to visitors on Saturday and Sunday (May 12 and 13) from 11am-3pm and 1-4pm respectively.

And, on Monday, a number of the ship’s affiliates – including visitors from the village of Cattistock – will have the opportunity to get a brief glimpse of life on the ocean wave when HMS Cattistock leaves the port for a special sea day.

As well as these formal engagements with the public, the ship will also host a capability demonstration for invited guests on Saturday evening.

They will then attend, as invited guests of Poole Borough Council, the appointment of Councillor Carol Evans as mayor, taking over the role from Counciller Graham Wilson.

For HMS Cattistock’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Andy Ingham, and his ship’s company, this is a special opportunity to further strengthen the ship’s already strong ties with the area.

“It is quite rare to be able to make a return visit like this so soon,”  he explained. “But it just so happens that this is the way it has worked out in operational planning.

“Of course, we were delighted to be able to take this chance and we are all looking forward to coming back to Poole.

“We are always humbled by the extraordinary support and interest shown to us by our affiliated organisations and, more broadly, the people of Poole and Dorset – it is a real pleasure to be able to open the gangway to visitors and we look forward to welcoming as many people as possible on board; it’s a small way that we are able to say thank you.”

MCMV crews rotate around the eight ships in the the 2nd Mine Countermeasures Squadron – including spending time on operations in the vessels stationed in the North Arabian Gulf.

HMS Cattistock is 60 metres long with a beam of 10m and is the largest warship ever constructed from glass reinforced plastic. The ship carries a crew of 45, many of them clearance divers whose job it is to swim to mines in order to place explosives; however, the ship also has a mine disposal system consisting of a remote controlled submersible.

The ship also has a 30mm gun, two general purpose machine gun positions as well as two rapid firing Gattling-style machine guns for self defence, making her a versatile vessel capable of re-deploying as a patrol craft should the need arise.

Naval Today Staff , May 11, 2012; Image: Royal Navy