Surprise stopover for Royal Navy’s Caribbean sailors
The island of St Vincent was the scene of much rejoicing when Vincentian sailors serving onboard H.M.S DAUNTLESS arrived to introduce their ship to the country, and were able to get ashore for a couple of days leave with their friends and family.
In the midst of her Atlantic AURIGA 12 deployment, and about to begin Counter Narcotic operations in the Caribbean, H.M.S DAUNTLESS took a small detour to allow five St Vincent born sailors to show off their ship to their families and take the rare opportunity to go home for a quick visit.
The island visit was not planned as part of the overall deployment but with the ship entering the Caribbean to take part in a multi-national maritime exercise, and conduct Counter Narcotic patrols, a clear opportunity presented itself.
On departing and being picked back up by his ship, Leading Stores Accountant Asha McMillan (30) who has not been home to Mesopotamia, St Vincent since 2010 said: “I feel like crying now that we are leaving again, but you have to look at it as a bonus; we never thought we were coming here on this trip, so a bonus it is.”
After five months on deployment which have seen the Royal Navy Destroyer conduct Maritime Security operations down the length of West Africa, and more recently patrols around the cold and windy Falkland Islands, the ship arrived, bathed in warm Caribbean sunshine, at St Vincent on the evening of the 4th September ready to start the next phase of operations.
Captain Will Warrender RN, the Destroyer’s Commanding Officer, said: “I think it is incredibly important that when we get the opportunity, we support our Caribbean crew members and make the most of days like today. We may have been away from home for 5 months but for these sailors, they have been away from their homes for much much longer. Not that you’ll ever hear them complain about that though; in fact on the contrary, they are some of the happiest people, which from my perspective makes my life easy, as they are a pleasure to work with.”