Royal Navy patrol vessel shadows Russian warship in English Channel

A Royal Navy warship has shadowed a Russian warship as it sailed through the English Channel.

HMS Mersey, an offshore patrol vessel, was on security patrol when it was scrambled to track the Steregushchiy-class corvette RFS Boiky, after taking over from the French navy.

HMS Mersey shadow’s Russian corvette RFS Boiky in the English Channel (Royal Navy/PA)

A navy spokesman said: “Mersey watched every movement as the corvette linked up with RFS Akademik Pashin, an auxiliary vessel, to refuel and transfer stores, before getting under way again.”

Lieutenant Commander Will Edwards-Bannon, commanding officer of Portsmouth-based Mersey, said: “Working to preserve the maritime security of the UK has always been one of the Royal Navy’s very highest priority missions throughout our long history.

“The need to fulfil this mission hasn’t changed with the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic so, although we are living and working in slightly different ways on board to limit the risk from the virus, HMS Mersey’s fantastic ship’s company continues to work hard to protect our nation’s interests.”

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