Royal Navy patrol vessel returns to port for first time in 12 years

A Royal Naval patrol vessel has returned to its home base for the final time after spending 12 years on patrol around the Falkland Islands.

A decommissioning ceremony has also been held for HMS Clyde following its return to Portsmouth prior to being sold on to the Brazilian navy.

HMS Clyde decommissioned
HMS Clyde returns to Portsmouth for the first time in 12 years, ahead of a decommissioning ceremony (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Commander Simon Pressdee, commanding officer of the Fishery Protection Squadron, said: “It has been a real privilege to welcome HMS Clyde home today after what has been the longest Royal Navy deployment in modern times, achieving over 12 years forward-deployed to the South Atlantic.

“During the period, over 800 members of the squadron have served in HMS Clyde, experiencing the southern oceans for over six months at a time, providing many of them with unique and special memories from an outstanding part of the planet.

“Her decommissioning this afternoon will remember all those who have served in her before we hand over this workhorse of the fleet back to BAE Systems who have carefully supported her throughout her deployment.”

Family and friends of the 40-strong crew lined the quayside at Portsmouth Naval Base to welcome home their loved ones following their deployment on board Clyde.

HMS Clyde decommissioned
Crew members wave to loved ones as HMS Clyde arrives back in Portsmouth (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A Navy spokesman said: “Some of the current crew have been with the ship for about nine months but most for about six months, the standard tour length before handing over to the relief crew.

“Having seen about 25 crew handovers over a dozen years, HMS Clyde will now be stripped of personal belongings and prepared for her handover to BAE Systems for the next phase of her life.”

Clyde’s role patrolling the Falklands will be taken over by HMS Forth, which is currently en route through the Atlantic Ocean.

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