HMS Shoreham ends three-year Middle East mission with Clyde homecoming (Picture: Royal Navy).

Welcome back! HMS Shoreham home after three-year Middle East mission

The Royal Navy minehunter has returned home to HMNB Clyde after the lengthy deployment.

HMS Shoreham ends three-year Middle East mission with Clyde homecoming (Picture: Royal Navy).

HMS Shoreham has returned home to Scotland after a three-year deployment to the Middle East.

The Sandown Class minehunter departed in 2018 for the Gulf, 6,000 miles away, securing waters in the region before returning to Clyde naval base on Tuesday morning.

Along with fellow mine countermeasures vessel HMS Brocklesby, the ship secured sea lanes for merchant ships, on the lookout for underwater threats.

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Both ships took part in Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean, taking on similar roles.

Crews rotated on the 600-tonne HMS Shoreham, taking turns to watch over, or under, the waters.

The current ship's company – Crew Five from MCM1 – have spent 11 of the last 15 months on operations and were tasked with bringing the ship home.

Watch: Surf's up as HMS Shoreham's crew make the most out of weather delay.

"I am incredibly proud of my ship's company for the hard work and effort they have put into making this trip home a success," said Lieutenant Commander Richard Kemp, Commanding Officer of the minehunter.

"They have shown a fantastic ethos, especially during some challenging periods at sea. 

"I now look forward to granting my ship's company some well-deserved post-deployment leave before we continue operations in the UK."

The crew conducted security missions over seven different seas on the return leg, deterring terrorism and piracy.

On the lighter side of the deployment, personnel were able to enjoy a barbecue with a view of erupting Mount Stromboli north of Sicily, take a traditional 'hands to bathe' dip in the Red Sea and test the surf in Portugal.

The order for 'hands to bathe' is a long-standing naval tradition dating back centuries. In the days before washing facilities on board ships, captains would stop in calm areas of water and order the crew to take a cleansing dip in the sea.