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HMS Tracker pays respects to Royal Oak

Faslane Patrol Boat HMS Tracker recently visited Kirkwall in Orkney, marking the most northerly part of her three-week tour of Scotland.

HMS Tracker left Wick, May 23, sailing through the Pentland Firth and into Scapa Flow, home to the Royal Navy Grand Fleet and later the Home Fleet during both World Wars.

While there the crew took the chance to pay their respects to those who lost their lives on board HMS Royal Oak.

Sub-Lieutenant Sam Jacques, who is on board HMS Tracker conducting navigational training, said: "This was my first visit to Scapa Flow and it was a very poignant moment for me and the ship's company.

This was my first visit to Scapa Flow and it was a very poignant moment for me and the ship's company.

Sub-Lieutenant Sam Jacques

"We conducted ceremonial as we passed HMS Royal Oak and took the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by all personnel during both World Wars."

He continued: "The rest of the day was spent conducting navigation training as we worked our way around the bay.

“It was great to see some of the famous land marks."

HMS Royal Oak was sunk in October 1939 after a German U-Boat crept into Scapa Flow and torpedoed the warship, 833 of the 1,400 crew lost their lives and the site is now an official war grave.

Each year Royal Navy divers from HMNB Clyde's Northern Diving Group are granted special permission to descend to the wreck to change the White Ensign, the iconic flag of the Royal Navy.

HMS Tracker has now departed Orkney for Stornoway, where she will meet members of the local community before heading to Tobermory, Craobh Marina and Northern Ireland.

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