HMS Mersey escorted a number of Russian vessels in the English Channel over the bank holiday weekend.
The patrol vessel intercepted the intelligence ship Vasily Tatishchev, the depot ship PM82 in company with a Russian tug and the frigate Severomorsk.
Lieutenant Commander George Storton, HMS Mersey’s Commanding Officer, said:
“HMS Mersey was ready to respond within a matter of hours to this tasking. This is routine business for the Royal Navy, and HMS
Mersey herself is well-versed in this role with this being the fourth such operation in the last two months.”
HMS Mersey is a River class offshore patrol vessel, one of four in the Royal Navy. In January 2016, Mersey became the second River Class to be deployed to the Caribbean following on from her sister Severn in 2015. In May 2016, Mersey was dry docked in Martinique as part of her mid-deployment maintenance period.
By July, Mersey had been relieved by RFA Wave Knight and was deployed on migrant patrols in the Aegean via a port call in Gibraltar. Mersey returned to Portsmouth in February 2017 after 13 months away to resume her Fishery Protection duties.
Last month frigate HMS Sutherland is escorting two Russian warships sailing through the English Channel overnight tonight.
A press release said:
“Royal Navy sailors on the Plymouth-based frigate keep watch on every movement of the ships, using state-of-the-art radars to track the course and speed of the ships as they pass close to the UK.”
Commander Andrew Canale, the Commanding Officer of HMS Sutherland, said:
“As one of the Royal Navy’s high readiness units, HMS Sutherland is required to escort warships that approach the UK and this task is considered routine business for us.
It is vitally important the Royal Navy demonstrates its presence and commitment to the integrity of UK territorial waters as we work around the clock to secure the seas of our island nation.”