Minehunter HMS Penzance Leaves For Gulf Deployment

The minehunter left her home port of HM Naval Base Clyde to relieve HMS Blythe.

HMS Penzance has left her home port for her newest deployment in the Gulf.

The minehunter and her crew of 40 left HM Naval Base Clyde, seen off dockside by fellow Royal Navy sailors and base personnel.

The Sandown-class mine countermeasures vessel has left to relieve HMS Blythe of her duties operating in the Middle East, where she has done been for the last four years.

Lieutenant Commander Graeme Hazelwood, Commanding Officer of HMS Penzance, said he was incredibly proud of the work that has gone into getting the vessel ready for deployment.

"It has been a team effort across the enterprise and one made all the more challenging during the current coronavirus crisis."

HMS Penzance is heading to the Gulf where it will take over from HMS Blythe (Picture: Royal Navy).

The crew on board will be deployed with the vessel for the next four months and for many aboard it will be their first time.

One such person is Mine Warfare Specialist Able Seaman Connor Hurst, who said: "This will be my first deployment and I’m very much looking forward to putting into practice on operations what I have learned over the last year.

"Mine countermeasures vessels have a long history of delivering success in the region and I look forward to becoming part of that."

HMS Penzance will meet up with Portsmouth-based Hunt-class minehunter HMS Chiddingfold before heading out to the Gulf where she will work alongside HMS Shoreham and HMS Brocklesby.

Cover image: HMS Penzance departing from HM Naval Base Clyde (Picture: Royal Navy).