First sailors on board for HMS Spey

The Royal Navy’s final new offshore patrol vessel has welcomed her first sailors on board.

HMS Spey is nearing the end of her build on the River Clyde in Scotland and five members of the ship’s company are now living on board.

This is a significant milestone for Spey who, when she officially becomes part of the fleet, will join her sister patrol vessels Trent, Tamar, Medway and Forth.

More sailors will join in early September before the ship begins preparations for her delivery voyage to her home port of Portsmouth.

HMS Spey's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans, said: "Even though we are in the midst of a virus pandemic I have been really impressed with how the teams from Defence Equipment and Support and BAE Systems has safely and tirelessly worked to get to this point.

It is an exciting challenge to bring HMS Spey out of build and I look forward to being joined by more of my ship's company to bring the newest ship in Royal Navy into service.

Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans, HMS Spey's Commanding Officer

“It is an exciting challenge to bring HMS Spey out of build and I look forward to being joined by more of my ship's company to bring the newest ship in Royal Navy into service.

“We will make sure the best has been saved for last.”

DE&S OPV project manager Gareth Morris added: “Our team is proud to be supporting HMS Spey through the final build stages ahead of her homeward sailing.

“We will continue working closely with our supplier to ensure the Royal Navy receives the world-beating equipment it needs.”

The second batch of OPVs are part of the Royal Navy’s forward presence programme which will see ships forward deployed on operations around the globe.

It will see the ships remain on task while members of the ship’s company work on a rotation basis, giving them time to take leave, complete promotion courses and undertake training.

The OPVs provide enough space for a flight deck and accommodation for 50 embarked Royal Marines. The flight deck is large enough to support the Fleet Air Arm’s Wildcat and Merlin helicopters.