I was delighted to see so many friends, families and former ‘Severns’ at the ceremony today paying tribute to her many achievements in the service of this country

Lieutenant Commander Hugh Harris, Commanding Officer of HMS Severn

HMS Severn’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Hugh Harris said: “Today is a day of mixed emotions. I am very proud of Severn and her Ship’s Company for all they have achieved but I am also very sad to see a fine ship retire from service.

"For the last 14 years, bar a short stint in the Caribbean, Severn has been on duty for 320 days of each year on patrol in British waters.

"She has been a vital enabler to the economic security of this country, conducting Fisheries Inspection Duties to ensure the industry remains profitable and sustainable for present and future generations.

“I was delighted to see so many friends, families and former ‘Severns’ at the ceremony today paying tribute to her many achievements in the service of this country.”

Lt Cdr Harris is HMS Severn’s 13th commanding officer. Among his predecessors is Capt Stephen Moorhouse, who was named last month as the first seagoing Captain of HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the Royal Navy’s new generation of aircraft carrier.

Over the past 12 months, in addition to her Fisheries responsibilities, HMS Severn has escorted a Russian landing ship and Chinese task group through the English Channel, opened her doors to the public at the Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival and Weymouth Seafood Festival, taken part in numerous navigation training courses and an assessment exercise for the Royal Navy’s submarine commanders’ course.

She was the first of the Royal Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels ever to undertake North Atlantic patrol duties in the Caribbean, a task usually undertaken by a destroyer or RFA vessel, taking her away from her usual work as part of the Fishery Protection Squadron.

Amongst her other most notable achievements was the interception, in 2015, of a ship smuggling cocaine with a street value of £350 million, and preventing a damaged tug sinking off Torbay, in 2013.

HMS Severn is one of three Offshore Patrol Vessels operating in UK and European waters which are being replaced by a new generation of River class vessels, the first of which, HMS Forth, will enter service later this year.

Bill Page, who as BAE Systems’ Head of Contractor Logistic Support Class Output Management has overseen HMS Severn’s ship support periods, as well as the Royal Navy’s other River Class offshore patrol vessels, said: “We are proud to have been part of keeping HMS Severn at the forefront of naval operations during her 15 years in the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.

“Since she was commissioned into the fleet in 2003 we have worked in partnership with the Royal Navy, ensuring she is ready she is able to carry out her fishery protection duties whenever she is required to do so.”

HMS Forth (P222)

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