Navy’s fastest frigate drops anchor at Lyme

PUBLISHED: 15:59 25 July 2013

HMS Sutherland at anchor off Lyme Regis. Photo by Doug Chalk

HMS Sutherland at anchor off Lyme Regis. Photo by Doug Chalk

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Mayor Sally Holman and local VIPS are invited aboard HMS Sutherland

Lyme Regis Mayor Sally Holman with HMS Sutherland’s Commanding Officer Al Wilson. Photo by Doug Chalk.Lyme Regis Mayor Sally Holman with HMS Sutherland’s Commanding Officer Al Wilson. Photo by Doug Chalk.

THE Royal Navy was ‘honoured’ to bring a warship to Lyme Regis and invite members of the community on board.

HMS Sutherland, Britain’s fastest frigate, anchored in Lyme Bay on Tuesday evening.

Led by the mayor, Coun Sally Holman, invited guests attended a reception and watched capability demonstrations by the 200-strong crew.

They were welcomed by Commanding Officer Al Wilson and Commodore Jamie Miller CBE RN, Naval Regional Commander Wales and Western England.

Commanding Officer Wilson told guests: “It’s lovely to be here and we are very honoured to have the opportunity to invite you on board to see your Navy and your ship, as far as we are concerned.”

Commodore Miller said the mayor deserved a ‘special accolade’ for the event, and gave a special mention to the royal baby.

“How clever of you to summon up HMS Sutherland to be here to celebrate it,” he said.

The Commodore praised the mayor for maintaining links with the Navy, initially through HMS Edinburgh and now with HMS Sutherland.

He also urged Lyme Regis to pursue affiliation with RFA Lyme Bay, which was due to come to the town earlier this year but was called away on operational duties.

Guests had a tour of the ship, including the bridge and operations room, and were shown demonstrations in boarding and fire fighting.

This was followed by a ceremonial sunset party, when the ensign was lowered.

Coun Holman thanked the commanding officer and his crew for the visit and presented them with a town crest.

She said: “On behalf of the guests tonight, I would like to thank you very much for making this visit to Lyme Regis.

“It is a great honour for us and we have had a great evening and we have really enjoyed seeing your ship and some of the operations.

“We shall take memories back with us and we hope that you and your crew will enjoy the view of Lyme Regis.

“The sunset ceremony is incredibly moving.”

In return, Commanding Officer Wilson presented the Mayor and the town with a plaque of the ship’s crest.

He said: “It has been a real pleasure and honour to have you on board.”

He added he was pleased HMS Sutherland could ‘step into the breach’ after RFA Lyme Bay had to cancel its visit.

* HMS Sutherland is a Type 23 frigate, which has reached more than 34 knots (39mph) in trials. She was commissioned into the Navy in 1997.


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