The simple manoeuvres we have carried out here with the Bahamian Coast Guard have proven that our forces can work together to achieve safe, mutually beneficial training.

Lt Ben Read

The ship, currently on a seven-month deployment in the Caribbean and wider region, also hosted representatives from the Anguillan government while Severn’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Steven Banfield took 14 members of the ship’s company to a reception at the home of the island’s Governor Christina Scott.

Earlier in her deployment HMS Severn visited St Lucia – the first visit made by a Royal Navy ship in a number of years.

A number of islanders attended a capability demonstration in Castries Port before eight sailors helped to repaint the St Lucia Blind Welfare Association building.

The ship’s company hosted groups of schoolchildren while the Marine Engineering department spent time with the St Lucian Marine Police, learning about maintenance routines and understanding some of the effects of the Caribbean climate on the engineering aspects of boat operations.

HMS Severn’s football and rugby teams took on local sides, losing in both sports before the visit culminated in a training exercise with the St Lucia Fire Service.

Chief of the Fire Service Lambert Charles said: “The training today has been invaluable; the expertise on board HMS Severn has enabled my team to understand the unique nature of fire-fighting on board the ship – something which we have not had before.”

HMS Severn also visited Bridgetown in Barbados – her second visit since arriving in the Caribbean in early December – and met up with one of her affiliates.

The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, holidaying on the island, attended a reception aboard the ship, during which Air Commodore Stephen Anderton, a junior warden of the company, presented Lt Cdr Banfield with a certificate of military affiliation to formalize the ship’s association to the company.

During an earlier visit to Key West, HMS Severn conducted briefings with the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (South)­, a US Coast Guard-led regional maritime security organisation that focuses on catching drug smugglers in the Caribbean.

The Portsmouth-based patrol ship also made an historic visit to Georgetown in Grand Cayman as her shallow draft allowed her to berth at the North Terminal jetty rather than the usual mooring buoys offshore.

During the short visit Lt Cdr Banfield visited the governor and premier of the Cayman Islands as well as the police commissioner and director of the hazard management department.

Sub Lieutenant Matthew Smith and Logs(Ch) Deacon were invited to attend the Cayman Cookout event held at the Ritz Carlton resort, where celebrity chef Adam Handling, 2013 UK Masterchef finalist showed off his culinary skills.

Mr Handling then visited Severn to see how two chefs catered for 35 sailors every day plus providing food for up to 100 guests at receptions two or three times a week.

HMS Severn also visited Nassau in the Bahamas where she was escorted into harbour by the Bahamian ship Leon Livingstone Smith, a new Daimen-class offshore patrol vessel.

Reciprocal tours were held on both ships culminating in a basic set of officer of the watch manoeuvres.

Severn’s navigating officer Lt Ben Read said: “The simple manoeuvres we have carried out here with the Bahamian Coast Guard have proven that our forces can work together to achieve safe, mutually beneficial training.’’

During the visit Lt Cdr Banfield met local dignitaries and officials from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and US Coast Guard and discussed maritime security in the Bahamas and the wider region.

During her deployment, which ends in July, Severn, which normally patrols UK coastal waters, is tackling drug smugglers, assisting in the event of natural disasters and engaging with and providing reassurance to overseas territories in the Caribbean and surrounding region.

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