Royal Navy’s Faslane-based patrol boat HMS Tracker set sail from her home port of HM Naval Base Clyde starting a three-week deployment around Scotland.
The modified Royal Navy Archer class P2000 vessel, which helps protect high-value shipping, is a common sight on the River Clyde.
As part of the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron the ship rarely leaves the dockyard port so the crew jumped at the chance to undertake the Caledonian cruise and visit other parts of Scotland.
“The next three weeks will see us sail around the west coast of Scotland, transit the Caledonian Canal to Inverness, and visit Orkney and the Inner Hebrides,” said Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell, commanding officer of HMS Tracker.
“The Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron performs an important role, helping to protect the River Clyde and high-value vessels which use the dockyard port. We are really looking forward to sailing around Scotland and explaining the work the Royal Navy does to protect the country.”
Among the places HMS Tracker and her crew will visit are Islay, Fort Augustus, Inverness, Lossiemouth, Wick, Orkney, Stornoway, Portree and Tobermory.
During the three weeks the vessel will also host a number of school visits, train alongside the RNLI and the Coast Guard, and demonstrate and practice seamanship to potential Royal Navy recruits.
Commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1998, HMS Tracker is one of two patrol boats that form the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron. Formed in 2010, the Squadron provides Force Protection in and around Faslane.
Wearing the pennant number P274, HMS Tracker is a fully-fledged armed patrol boat. Fitted with Kevlar armour and able to operate three 7.62mm general purpose machine guns she has become, along with her sister ship HMS Raider, part of a growing force protection cadre based at HM Naval Base Clyde.