HMS Lancaster has completed a two-week solo patrol of the Arctic.
According to a Royal Navy news release:
“For the second time in 2021, the Portsmouth-based frigate ventured into the frozen wastes on a 3,000-mile round-trip through the Norwegian Sea and into the Arctic Circle – the latest Royal Navy vessel to head to the High North over the past few years.
As a ‘lone rider’ the ship had to rely on herself for all eventualities – food, fuel, emergencies – and made a quick pit stop in the Shetland Islands to top up the fuel tanks before heading out into the open ocean.
With temperatures in the Arctic barely reaching double figures even in late summer and the water an unforgiving 6 Celsius – meaning hypothermia sets in in minutes if anyone falls in – Lancaster’s crew used the journey north to prepare. Practising these emergency situations is vital for training up new sailors during their first time at sea and to refresh the skills of those with more than their fair share of experience.
That included dealing with mock fires and evacuating a casualty by helicopter to hone the skills of both the sickbay team and the crew of the Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron.”
The Royal Navy also said that once her patrol was complete, the ship turned around and made her way for Belfast for a short logistics stop before joining Royal Navy and international warships taking part in the Joint Warrior exercise which takes place off north-west Scotland until the beginning of October.