HMS Severn Sails to the Caribbean

Lessons in firefighting and boarding fishing vessels dominated HMS Severn’s visit to Anguilla in the Caribbean.

The River-class offshore patrol vessel hosted the Anguillan Fisheries Department as well as island firefighters during her second visit to the island in two months.

After a tour of the ship, visitors witnessed a fire exercise before looking at the facilities and equipment used by the ship’s maritime enforcement boarding teams.

The ship, currently on a seven-month deployment in the Caribbean and wider region, also hosted representatives from the Anguillan government while Severn’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Steven Banfield took 14 members of the ship’s company to a reception at the home of the island’s Governor Christina Scott.

Earlier in her deployment HMS Severn visited St Lucia – the first visit made by a Royal Navy ship in a number of years.

A number of islanders attended a capability demonstration in Castries Port before eight sailors helped to repaint the St Lucia Blind Welfare Association building.

During an earlier visit to Key West, HMS Severn conducted briefings with the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (South)­, a US Coast Guard-led regional maritime security organisation that focuses on catching drug smugglers in the Caribbean.

The Portsmouth-based patrol ship also made an historic visit to Georgetown in Grand Cayman as her shallow draft allowed her to berth at the North Terminal jetty rather than the usual mooring buoys offshore.

During her deployment, which ends in July, Severn, which normally patrols UK coastal waters, is tackling drug smugglers, assisting in the event of natural disasters and engaging with and providing reassurance to overseas territories in the Caribbean and surrounding region.

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Image: Royal Navy

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