The Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Severn has visited the Turks and Caicos to strengthen bonds with the Caribbean Islands.
Severn, currently deployed in the region, arrived off Providenciales where her Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Steven Banfield met with local authorities and toured the Providenciales coastal radar station.
The River Class Offshore Patrol ship then travelled on to Grand Turk, where she embarked the Acting Governor Mrs Anya Williams; the Premier Doctor Rufus Ewing and a number of other officials for lunch at sea.
At the same time the ship also conducted a joint training exercise with the T&C Police Force (Marine) Division that simulated the process of identifying and investigating a vessel fishing illegally.
Lieutenant Ollie Hazeldine, Severn’s Tactical Fisheries Officer who helped coordinate the exercise said: “Working with the Turks and Caicos Police (Marine) department and DEMA was an informative and valuable exercise for all parties.
“The exercise offered mutual training and an understanding of each others maritime enforcement procedures and protocol, hopefully creating a baseline for future training opportunities between Marine Enforcement Agencies.”
Following the training package, Severn spent two days alongside in Grand Turk hosting visits from local schools and community groups, and held an evening reception and Capability Demonstration.
Lt Cdr Steven Banfield, Commanding Officer of HMS Severn said:
“Having been away from home for the holiday season, it was nice to balance the difficulty of separation with the variety of the locations we have the pleasure of visiting.
“It was an honour to visit, and in particular be so warmly welcomed by the Turks and Caicos Islanders during our short stay.”
The Portsmouth based, and Newport affiliated, River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel has deployed to the Caribbean on Atlantic Patrol Tasking (North) duties, providing reassurance to British Overseas Territories and dependencies, whilst also being prepared to conduct disaster relief assistance.