UK: HMS Penzance to Visit Penzance this Weekend

HMS Penzance to Visit Penzance this Weekend

Royal Navy mine hunter, HMS Penzance, will make a welcome visit to her spiritual home this weekend, as she sails into Penzance for a four day visit.

Not only will the public be able to see HMS Penzance alongside in Penzance harbour all weekend, but the ship will be opening her decks to visitors on Saturday June 9.

Opening the ship to visitors is an excellent way for members of the public to get a real insight into not only the equipment onboard the ship that gives her the fantastic capability she carries, but it also allows the public to meet the sailors and see what it is like both working and living in a Royal Navy warship.

Also on the agenda for the weekend, the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Alex Bush, and ship’s company will host local VIPs and affiliates of the ship who have been invited for a reception and capability demonstration on board on Friday evening.

The ship will also provide tours for local schools and organisations.

On Sunday (June 10) the visit takes a more sombre turn when crew members will join with local people for the unveiling of a special plaque in memory of 90 crew members who died on the third HMS Penzance in 1940 during World War II.

The memorial has been laid by Penzance Town Council and the ship’s company of the current HMS Penzance, the fourth Royal Navy ship to bear the name.

The dedication service is preceded by a parade and will be followed by a civic reception.

Lieutenant Commander Bush said: “I am immensely proud to be bringing my ship to Penzance and I aim to reinforce the superb relationship the town and the ship have.

“We are delighted to be able to open to visitors during this stay and I look forward to welcoming local people on board and chatting to them about the Royal Navy and HMS Penzance.

“This visit is particularly important for us to pay tribute to our fallen ship mates on board HMS Penzance in 1940, who lost their lives when the ship was torpedoed. We are honoured to be able to be present for the unveiling of this memorial plaque.”

HMS Penzance is one of seven Sandown class mine hunters – five of the class usually make their ‘home’ at the Scottish base, while two others are on permanent deployment in the Gulf, with the ship’s crews rotating during each deployment.

Built of glass reinforced plastic, the design ensures that the ship is extremely quiet and has a very low magnetic signature, essential when operating in a minefield.

Equipped with the latest precise navigation and manoeuvring systems, which allow it to “hover” over a fixed point and search for mines with a variable depth sonar to depths in excess of 200 metres of water, Penzance can also deploy her clearance divers or latest state of the art submersible to deal with mines or suspicious objects.

Launched by HRH Prince Michael of Kent on the 11 March 1997, the current HMS Penzance was commissioned on 14 May 1998 and is the fourth to bear the name.

She is very proud of her Cornish links and affiliations, which include Penzance Town Council, Penlee Lifeboat, Penzance branch of the Royal British Legion and Penzance Sea Cadets.

Naval Today Staff , June 12, 2012; Image: Royal Navy