Royal Navy Fishery Protection Vessel HMS Mersey and survey vessel HMS Enterprise visit Falmouth on Friday in support of Falmouth Week regatta.
The two ships will be providing a boat to assist race managers and safety officers overseeing competition in Falmouth Bay and Carrick Roads.
In addition HMS Mersey will host a small capability demonstration for invited guests and both ships will carry out pre-arranged tours for a number of groups, including local Sea Cadet units.
A favourite port of call for naval vessels, both ships’ crews are looking forward to being part of the beautiful surroundings along with the lively atmosphere that Falmouth offers, whilst contributing to the success of Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week.
Commanding Officer of HMS Mersey, Lieutenant Commander Sarah Oakley said:
“HMS Mersey is delighted to be able to play a role in what promises to be a great week for Falmouth alongside HMS Enterprise.
“We also look forward to welcoming our various guests on board during this time in port and talking to them about the role of the modern Royal Navy and life at sea.”
HMS Mersey will leave on August 20 and Enterprise will remain in port for a short period of routine maintenance.
One of three River Class offshore patrol vessels, HMS Mersey, on behalf of the Royal Navy’s Fishery Protection Squadron, co-operates with other government agencies enforcing legislation designed to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks for future generations.
HMS Mersey can spend in excess of 300 days at sea each year, whatever the weather, patrolling British fishery limits liaising with the Marine Management Organisation.
She is 79m long, with a breadth of 13m and a displacement of 1,677 tonnes. Her twin diesel engines can propel her to a top speed of 20 knots, giving Mersey a range of 7,800 nautical miles.
The working deck of the vessel is large enough to transport smaller craft such as oil spill recovery tractors and small landing craft, meaning she can also be used for disaster relief, anti-pollution and rescue work.
She has a crew of 30 sailors and also has accommodation for a Royal Marine boarding party.
HMS Enterprise was built at Appledore in Devon, and launched on 2 May 2002. She and her sister ship HMS Echo were designed to carry out a wide range of survey work, including support to submarine and amphibious operations, through the collection of oceanographic and bathymetric (analysis of the ocean, its salinity and sound profile) data.
Enterprise’s survey motor boat, Pioneer, is capable of operating independently from the ship, supporting a small group of surveyors who can live and work ashore to carry out large-scale or beach surveys.
She is the second Royal Navy ship (after sister HMS Echo) to use azimuth thrusters, where the propellers are part of a swivelling pod, allowing for precise manoeuvring.
She is also capable of acting as home for a mine countermeasures command team.
Since her first operational overseas deployment to the Mediterranean in late 2004, Enterprise has worked in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin, through West Africa to the Republic of South Africa, and off Iraq.
Naval Today Staff, August 14, 2012; Image: Royal Navy