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HMS Spey welcomes families aboard before ship sails on epic Pacific mission

Families look around the bridge wing
23 August 2021
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Families of the 46 men and women who will take HMS Spey on the adventure of a lifetime got to see the ship for the first – and possibly last time.

The patrol ship is about to head to the Indo-Pacific region in company with her older sister HMS Tamar – a mission which will take the pair away from the UK for perhaps five years or more.

The breakneck speed of her transformation from lifeless hull – the first sailor joined at the end of August last year – to operational warship, a hectic training schedule, plus a commissioning ceremony off Invergordon and Covid restrictions, most of the crew’s families only got to see Spey close-up for the first time today in Portsmouth Naval Base.

With preparations for Spey’s departure at the end of month at full throttle, there wasn’t the opportunity for families to see the warship demonstrate her speed, manoeuvrability and above all numerous capabilities – everything from maritime security operations to providing disaster relief.

There was, however, plenty of time to look around living and working quarters, sit in the captain’s chair, dress up as a firefighter, fight off balloon animals, and get faces painted.

And for crew, who’ve brought Spey to life faster than any other RN vessel since World War 2 (the bulk of the sailors only joined in January) it was a chance to show off the nation’s newest warship.

“We are incredibly proud of HMS Spey. We think of her as the last in the class – and the best in the class,” said Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans.

“Everyone on board has worked incredibly hard to get the ship ready for her deployment. The support of our families has been crucial.

“They have not had the chance to see Spey until now. It’s our opportunity to thank them.”

Everyone on board has worked incredibly hard to get the ship ready for her deployment. The support of our families has been crucial.

Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans, Commanding Officer

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