HMS Mersey flies the flag in Isle of Man

Douglas was the destination for the men and women of HMS Mersey as they took a brief break in the Isle of Man from fishery duties.

The ship used the short stop in Douglas for the latest rotation of one third of her crew and to take on stores and fuel ready as well as the chance to explore the island and fly the flag for the RN.

Crew hosted local police cadets, members of the civil defence force, their counterparts in the Isle of Man fisheries division and a team from a workshop for the disabled.

The ship's visit coincided with the Motorcycle Grand Prix – the island’s second most prestigious biking event after the world-famous TT.

Ten members of the ship’s company were invited to the official Grand Prix reception at Government House, hosted by Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Gozney and Lady Gozney, and a handful also acted as marshals for some of the racing the following day.

A group of sailors were also given a guided tour of the Tynwald – the world's oldest parliament which has been serving Isle of Man folk for more than 1,000 years.

All of us in the Mighty Mersey are very grateful for the incredibly warm welcome we received from the Isle of Man.

Lieutenant Commander Will Edwards-Bannon

"My Ship’s Company and I enjoyed hosting many members of the local community on board as well as taking the opportunity to explore the city and wider island," said Lieutenant Commander Will Edwards-Bannon, the patrol ship's commanding officer.

"Visiting at the same time as the Motorcycle Grand Prix was a real highlight and, for those members of my ship’s company who attended the Lieutenant Governor’s reception or acted as marshals for the races themselves it was truly a 'money-can’t-buy' experience."

The Portsmouth-based patrol ship is currently assigned to the 'western area' fishery patrol, enforcing regulations in the Irish and Celtic Seas and the South-Western Approaches.