Navy

Royal Navy's Top Minehunter Back On The Water

From a build shed in Rosyth, HMS Shoreham emerges. Built mainly from glass-reinforced plastic and packed with minehunting technology, the 52...

From a build shed in Rosyth, HMS Shoreham emerges.
 
Built mainly from glass-reinforced plastic and packed with minehunting technology, the 52-metre long ship has been in refit.
 
It's a once every four years maintenance programme, designed to give it a thorough once over. For the crew, it's meant some valuable time ashore. LET Richard Strobell said:
"It’s a good chance to learn - for a lot of the new people especially - but for me the biggest bonus is that I’m a local boy, so I get to see a lot more of my family, especially since we were deployed last year."
The crew got back in June from a deployment to the Gulf, leaving their previous ship in the Middle East. A refit programme can take up to six months and the next phase will be done with the crew on the water. LS(MW) Sarah Tapp said:
"We’ll start getting kit back on board, move on board and then get ready to go back to sea... It will be busy getting everything from the stores back onto the ship where it’s supposed to be."
The undocking process is huge in any ships refit programme; when she's rolled down to the water and then lowered on a moving dock.
 
The crew will now spend the next few weeks on safety checks and then operational sea training. In the new year they're heading off to the Baltics, on a NATO deployment. HMS Shoreham's Commanding Officer Tom Weaver said:
"A lot of my crew have been to the Gulf on repeated deployments so an opportunity to go to the Baltic and operate with NATO minehunting forces is something quite different. It brings its own challenges but it’s a really good deployment to do."
With HMS Shoreham firmly back in the water, the final part of her refit will be completed in the next few weeks - before the minehunter heads back out to sea on her next deployment.