A CLYDE-based navy ship leaves the river for the last time

HMS Shoreham has left Clyde Naval Base – her home for the past two decades – for the last time, embarking on a short ‘farewell tour’ of the UK.

The minehunter was escorted out of Gareloch and into the Clyde by Royal Marines craft and patrol boat squadron Faslane, while Naval Base Commander Robert Anstey joined the Sandown-class ship as tugboats tossed water jets in appreciation – a traditional naval dispatch.

Equipped with specialist kit, underwater vehicles and a team of clearance divers, Shoreham has made it their mission to keep the sea lanes open by ensuring there are no mines in the way. the safe passage of ships, especially for devices placed in deep waters, thanks to a sonar that detaches from the hull and can be lowered.

Launched at the Vosper Thornycroft shipyard in Southampton in 2001, it was commissioned the following year in its eponymous town in Sussex.

During her 20 years of active service, the minesweeper has alternated her time between training and operations in inland waters and those of northern Europe, as well as long stays in the Middle East – usually three years. at once – as part of the Gulf of the Royal Navy. based forces.

The ship traveled over 120,000 nautical miles, enough to circumnavigate the globe five and a half times, and visited over 30 ports domestically and abroad while serving under the White Ensign.

“It was a wonderful voyage for HMS Shoreham,” said Lieutenant Commander Andrew Platt, her last commanding officer.

“She spent more than half of her 20 years of service in the Middle East, and the rest from Faslane. To achieve such high operational performance requires a full team effort, including all technical, logistical and administrative support provided by HMNB Clyde.

Shoreham recently returned to the UK in October last year after more than two years of her final tour of operations in the Gulf, operating from the UK’s Naval Support Facility, Bahrain.

“To have been deployed with HMS Shoreham before bringing her back to Faslane last year was really special,” said diver Able Seaman Morgan Hudson-Ryder. “The west coast of Scotland is such a beautiful place to operate, and I feel privileged to be with the ship as it sails from here for the last time.”

Her farewell tour takes her to Shoreham-on-Sea later this week for a four-day visit, when the crew of 40 will take part in a final parade through the town before returning the Scroll of Freedom to the rounding accorded to the ship. in 2011.

Then the ship continues across the English Channel and up the East Coast to Rosyth, where it will be officially decommissioned later this year.

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