HMS Ocean Sails from London, UK


HMS Ocean Sails from London

Britain’s largest wars hip HMS Ocean has yesterday sailed from London following her success in keeping the capital safe during the Olympic Games.

The 21,500 tonne ship provided a very visible presence at Greenwich for the summer, acting as a helipad for aircraft to patrol the skies and as accommodation for more than 400 soldiers on Olympic security duties.

As well as hosting high profile visits from the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Princess Royal, the ship controlled 180 flight deck landings from seven types of aircraft and sent personnel on more than 120 security patrols along the river.

Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), Lord Coe said:

“Our heartfelt thanks go to the men and women who stepped up to work shoulder to shoulder with us to deliver an effective, seamless and well regarded security operation.”

The amphibious assault ship arrived in London in mid-July to much fanfare as sailors donned blue, yellow, black, green and red tops to form the Olympic rings on the flight deck, symbolising the nation’s building excitement.

As one of her primary tasks was to coordinate the flying operations above the capital, her flight team immediately set to work and eventually clocked a total of 1680 hours of flying aircrew and snipers in their embarked Lynx helicopters.

While the ship ran their security operation, the public were also welcomed on board with three open days attracting more than 11,000 visitors to explore the ship and meet the team keeping the capital safe.

Three charity receptions were hosted on Ocean while their chefs busied themselves in the galley cooking up more than 100,000 meals for the ship’s company while visits from the Team GB athletes helped keep morale high.

The sailors were also given the chance to explore Number 10 Downing Street after a personal invite from the Prime Minister to thank them for their efforts.

Writer Colin Lingwood, aged 21, said: “It was a real honour for me to get a chance to visit such an important building, especially because it’s so rarely open to the public.

“The most memorable part of the tour was our visit to the Cabinet Room – it was a great experience to stand in a room where all the big decisions that affect so many people’s lives are made.”

As she leaves the capital behind, HMS Ocean will continue with her routine tasking which includes a visit to Holland.

Naval Today Staff, September 13, 2012; Image: Royal Navy