The Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland will make a short visit to Liverpool. Arriving on the evening of Friday November 29, the 133-metre anti-submarine warship will go alongside at the Cruise Liner Terminal in the heart of the city.
Although not open to the public on this occasion, a number of local Sea Cadet units will be lucky enough to enjoy pre-arranged tours of the ship before she leaves the city again at midday on Sunday.
The Sea Cadets involved come from all over the North West and include Kirkby (TS Daring), Liverpool West Derby (TS Liverpool) and Huyton (TS Iron Duke) from Liverpool District, Ellesmere Port (TS Forward) from the Wirral District, Manchester District’s Tameside (TS Quontock), North East Lancs’ Middleton & Chadderton (TS Tremadoc Bay) and Kendal (TS Royalist) of the Cumbria District.
“This is a rather fleeting visit for us,” said HMS Northumberland’s Commanding Officer, Commander Tristram Kirkwood.
“But we are pleased that despite the brief time in port we will be able to host a number of local young mariners.
“I know that members of my ship’s company are looking forward to meeting the Sea Cadets and chatting to them about HMS Northumberland, her role of protecting the nation’s interests and about their experiences within the Senior Service.”
Councillor Wendy Simon, Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism, said:
“I am absolutely delighted to see the Royal Navy back alongside in Liverpool and I hope that HMS Northumberland’s sailors manage to enjoy a few hours of Merseyside hospitality during their all too brief visit.”
The 13 Type 23 – or Duke-class – frigates are the core of the front-line Fleet. They can typically be found east of the Suez Canal safeguarding Britain’s vital maritime trade routes, or interests in the South Atlantic.
Based in Portsmouth and Devonport, the ships were designed to counter the Soviet submarine threat – but in the 20 years since the fall of Communism, the frigates have proven their versatility by dealing with virtually every mission imaginable in the four corners of the globe, whilst maintaining the ability to hunt submarines, aided by the world’s finest sonar and either a Merlin or Lynx helicopter.
As befits her name, the ship was built in the north-east by the Swan Hunter yard. She was launched into the Tyne in April 1992 and entered service in late 1994. She’s based in Devonport
HMS Northumberland has recently returned from a seven month deployment to the Middle East and East Coast of Africa where they travelled 45,000 miles, crossed five time zones and visited 11 countries.
With the Merlin helicopter from 829 Squadron and embarked detachment of Royal Marines, the boarding teams from HMS Northumberland conducted 71 boarding operations, one of which resulted in the capture of bails of cannabis resin which had an estimated street value of £5.5million.
Press Release, November 27, 2013; Image: Navy