UK: Busy Times Continue for Royal Navy’s Warship

Busy Times for Royal Navy's Warship

June is always an eventful month for HMS Severn with the visit to City of Newport. This year the annual visit coincided with Mayoral Civic Sunday, Veterans Day, the Jubilee Celebration Service, Armed Forces Day and the launch of the Newport Armed Forces Covenant and so it was a particularly busy weekend.

As is tradition, the weekend of celebrations commenced with a social hosted by the Junior Rates. The Sailors hosted a number of guests from (amongst others) the Newport City Council, local Ambulance Service and Police Force. The evening was a great success, unlike the Ship’s Company v Newport City Council football match which took place on the Saturday: Severn was defeated 4-1 and had to return last years trophy to Newport.

Severn’s platform capability demonstration took place on the Saturday evening, supported by the Welsh Corps of Drums for a traditional ceremonial sunset. On Sunday Ship’s Company paraded through the city proudly following Veterans from the Newport Naval Association.

From Newport she sailed back on Maritime Security and Fishery Protection tasking. In a similar scheme to March’s visit from Belgian Fisheries Inspector Guy De Vleeschouwer, June saw the arrival of Ivan Vazquez Perez followed by Xose Rios in July, both Spanish Fisheries Inspectors.

This is part of a joint approach to enforcing European Fisheries Legislation and HMS Severn operated in UK, French, Irish and Spanish waters in support of the South West Approaches Common Control Programme with the inspectors embarked. This unity of effort together with shared information resulted in the detection of several serious offences, the results of which included seven vessels detained for further investigation by national authorities.

In-between these two lengthy offshore patrols, Severn enjoyed an Operational Stand-Down Period in Spanish fishing town, Vigo, the largest fishing port in Europe and home to the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA). As such, the purpose of the visit was to support further cooperation between Member States and Severn was able to host EFCA onboard to discuss the benefits and lessons learned from the collaborative patrols. European legislation and the multi-jurisdictional nature of fishing activity mean that good relations such as those between the UK and Spain are key for effective enforcement.

In the upcoming months Severn will continue to conduct Maritime Security and Fishery Protection Operations on the West Patrol and the Ship’s Company are looking forward to the RFWEX/Bournemouth Air Show at the end of August and a busy autumn with several high profile events.

Naval Today Staff, July 26, 2012; Image: Royal Navy