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Royal Navy ship back in Brisbane for the first time in nearly 30 years

9 August 2023
A Royal Navy ship has sailed into Brisbane in Australia for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth was the last ship in the Queensland capital in 1995, but now HMS Spey has come alongside for a week of maintenance.

Alongside sister HMS Tamar, HMS Spey provides an enduring Royal Navy presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific and has spent a lot of time working with the Australian Navy and partners across the region, including disaster relief on efforts in Tonga, fisheries protection and a range of training. 

Spey’s stop in Brisbane is partly a fact-finding mission for potential Royal Navy deployments in the future, with the major port able to support larger warships and having good airport links with the UK.

"We are thrilled to be visiting Brisbane, a city with a rich maritime history and a long-standing connection with the Royal Navy,” said Lieutenant Commander Bridget Macnae, Spey’s Executive Officer. 

“This visit is an opportunity to strengthen our ties, engage with the local community, and showcase the capabilities of HMS Spey."

Although the ship isn’t open to the public during her stay, she has attracted a lot of attention from local media – with television and radio reports on the ship’s stay.

Spey’s arrival in the port coincided with England’s Women’s World Cup quarter final victory on penalties over Nigeria at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Monday.

The Lionesses game was live streamed on Spey’s flight deck as the ship hosted more than 80 people from Australian government, trade, industry and armed forces.

Spey’s sailors will have the opportunity to visit the nearby beauty spots and attractions – including Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay, Noosa Island and Australia Zoo – as they take a break before patrols resume north into South East Asia.

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