Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Mersey makes the most of maintenance in Martinique

Mersey makes the most of maintenance in Martinique
HMS Mersey arrived in Fort de France, Martinique for her mid-deployment maintenance period. This was a chance for the ship’s company to spend some time ashore and engage with their colleagues in the French Navy after a complex, challenging and rewarding time of Counter-Narcotics Operations (CN Ops) and supporting Caribbean Nations and UK Overseas Territories.

While she was alongside in the French Naval Base, the Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Richard Hewitt took the opportunity to visit the French Navy Task Force in charge of Counter Narcotics Operations in the region, as well as meeting with the Captains of the French Navy Frigates Ventose and Germinal.

Mersey was proud to welcome onboard the Commanding Officer of the French Armed Forces in the West Indies, RAdm Coupry, as well as the Prefet of Martinique, Francois de Kerever and Mayor of Fort de France, Luc de Grandmaison.

The guests enjoyed lunch on board and discussed the partnership between the UK and French Armed Forces as well as kindly offering the ship’s company the chance to tour the French Naval Base and historic Fort St Louis and to use its facilities whilst the Ship was alongside. 

Representatives of the ship’s company were also welcomed at the French World War 2 Victory Parade in central Fort de France.

Taking full advantage of the facilities, with the French Navy challenging the Ship to a friendly game of football, the ship’s company were happy to take him up.

Despite the early morning start the heat was still incredible but Mersey’s team managed to pull off a victory.

Surg Lt Tom Clingo took the opportunity to discuss the prevalence of the Zika virus in the Caribbean with the Martinique Department of Health, as well as Naval contributions to disaster relief operations.

Representatives of the ship’s company were also welcomed at the French World War 2 Victory Parade in central Fort de France. The parade commemorates the Allied victory over Germany in WW2.

Officers and Ratings were proud to remember such an occasion with their French colleagues.

Aside from their hard work maintaining the ship, the ship’s company took advantage of their Caribbean location by visiting the many beauty spots around the island.

A team rose to the challenge of Mt Pelee, the largest mountain on Martinique, climbing to the summit in an early morning ascent.

Mersey also completed her ‘Road to Twickenham’ challenge, running, cycling and rowing the 3611nm from her berth in Fort de France, Martinique to Twickenham in time for the Army-Navy rugby match.

As a reward for the hard work that Mersey’s ship’s company put into the maintenance period, the French host company ENA took the ship’s company to a beautiful Caribbean beach for an afternoon where they enjoyed a barbecue, drinks and sport at the end of a maintenance period that has prepared Mersey to continue her operational tasking in the Caribbean.

Having completed her maintenance period Mersey now prepares to continue her patrol and support of UK Overseas Territories.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.