UK: Busiest Day Yet for HMS Defender

Busiest Day Yet for HMS Defender

HMS Defender has had its busiest day since arriving in Portsmouth on Thursday 9th August after inviting nearly 300 friends, families and members of ship’s affiliations onboard for the day.

The morning saw over 80 guests from the ship’s affiliations tour the vessel, whilst in the afternoon is was the turn of nearly 220 family and friends of the Ship’s Company to step onboard. Both groups were given the full tour and were taken from the gun on the bow to the flight deck at the stern.

Several guests had even served in the last HMS Defender. Indeed the last Commanding Officer of the previous HMS Defender, Captain Michael Rawlinson, was there to meet the current Captain, Commander Phil Nash. Commander Nash said:

“It was a true honour to have such prestigious guests onboard. From representatives of Ship’s Charities to the Lord Mayor of Exeter, to the last CO of HMS Defender. Days like this will only go to strengthen the ties we have forged with all of our affiliations and I know everybody was proud to be able to show off their ship for the first time”

The morning culminated in some significant presentations to the ship including the Vice Presidency of Exeter’s Dream-a-way charity to Petty Officer Simon Williams, the handing over of the Ship’s football kit from Exeter City Football club and the official signing of affiliation documents between HMS Defender and The Worshipful Company of Fletchers.

The afternoon also gave the chance for the Ship’s Company to bring their friends and family onboard for the first time, with nearly 220 people being shown around. Logistician Richard Dzindikwa invited 6 family members onboard and proudly showed of the brand new ship he now calls home.

Richard said:

“We are all just so very grateful for all the support we receive; we could not do this without our friends and families so to be able to show them what I do was a great experience, my son had so many questions I struggled to answer them all!”

Naval Today Staff, August 15, 2012; Image: Royal Navy