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Grim seas for Grimsby as she battles her way to Joint Warrior

13 October 2016
If it's Joint Warrior, it must be roughers. Actually, this is just before the UK’s autumn war games off the Scottish coast, a less-than-clement Irish Sea as seen from the bridge of HMS Grimsby.

The minehunter led a NATO task group on a 1,500-mile odyssey from the Baltic to its home base on the Clyde to participate in the second of 2016’s Joint Warrior exercises – running until the end of next week.

The weather in the English Channel and Irish Sea was particularly challenging with gale force winds and a strong swell causing large pitch and roll which made basic tasks onboard extremely difficult.

Grimsby joined Standing Mine-Counter-Measures Group 1 at the end of its summer ‘fun’ – a concerted sweep along Norway’s northern coast which resulted in two dozen pieces of historic ordnance being discovered – bombs, mines (plus a bus!) – between Hammerfest and Trondheim.

Luckily, the fun (wartime ordnance, explosions) continued on Grimsby’s first assignment in the Baltic.

Exercise Northern Coast was typical NATO minehunting fare; escort a task force through a minefield to keep sea lanes open.

As part of the hunt for the fictitious minefield, the force came across – and destroyed – WW2 era mines and bombs, all of which were sent to kingdom come.

Around the Danish island of Bornholm, the focus switched to  manoeuvres in formation, towing and rescue exercises of stricken vessels proving the effectiveness of the crews in various scenarios they might encounter on operations throughout the world, before beginning the long journey to Faslane, which every vessel in the eight-ship group reached undamaged.

Once Joint Warrior is over, the task group will make the 1,500-mile return journey back to the Baltic to resume patrols.

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