HMS Mersey

HMS Mersey is the youngest of the original batch of River class patrol vessels. She patrols the waters of the UK and up to 200 miles in the Atlantic ensuring that fishing boats and trawlers stick to internationally-agreed quotas.

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Mersey was the last ship to be built at Vosper Thornycroft yard, in Woolston, Southampton, for the Fishery Protection Squadron – the oldest unit in the Royal Navy. 

Originally, HMS Mersey like her sister ships, were not owned by the RN, she was leased by BAE who retained the responsibility for any major maintenance and upkeep.  However in 2012 the Ministry of Defence bought the ships outright and they are now owned by the Royal Navy.

The ship is a regular visitor to UK ports and often hosts organised groups to show what the Royal Navy is about. 

She operates a crew rotation system which means that a member of the ship’s company would normally spend four weeks onboard and two weeks ashore catching up on leave or on courses, allowing the ship herself to be on almost constant patrol.

Southampton engineers test fly “printed” aircraft off HMS Mersey


HMS Mersey Latest News

marine management org visit HMS Mersey

Marine Management Organisation visits HMS Mersey


HMS Mersey reaches out to Falmouth and Penryn Sea Cadets

See all news for HMS Mersey

Current operation Operation Fishery Protection

River-class ships inspect fishing vessels operating up to 200 miles off the UK’s coastline.  Their task is to enforce UK and EU regulations designed to preserve fish stocks for future generations.

The Royal Navy operates on behalf of the Marine Management Organisation.

  • Alongside

    Alongside in her home port of Portsmouth Naval Base

Location UK

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Unit History

The First Mersey1814

The first HMS Mersey was a Conway-class 26-gun Sixth Rate, launched in 1814.

The Second Mersey1858

The second HMS Mersey and her sister ship HMS Orlando were the longest wooden ships ever built for the Royal Navy; at 336 feet overall, they were nearly twice the length of HMS Victory.

Huge Ship1858

At 5643 tons displacement she was a huge ship for her day, heavily armed, strongly manned and relatively fast at 12 knots. She was sold in 1875.

The Third Mersey1885

The third HMS Mersey was a protected cruisers, the first to be built with no sailing rig, as solely steam-powered ships. She was launched at Chatham dockyard in March 1885.

The Fourth Mersey1914

In 1914 the RN bought three Amazon river monitors built by Vickers for Brazil. These – renamed Mersey, Humber and Severn – were the first of a new type of specialist shore-bombardment ships.

Battle Honours1915

Belgian Coast 1914-1915
Königsberg 1915


They were very unmanoevrable and dangerously unseaworthy in open waters in anything more than a Force 5 wind. She was sold to breakers in 1921.

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Commanding Officer Richard Hewitt

Rank: Lieutenant Commander


HMS Mersey has a range of 7,800 sea miles


HMS Mersey was launched on the 14th June 2003

HMNB Portsmouth

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