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Royal Navy Express Patrol Boat Follows In Wake of Faster Ferry-Craft HSS Explorer

10th April 2014
Royal Navy Express Patrol Boat Follows In Wake of Faster Ferry-Craft HSS Explorer

#RoyalNavy - As well to yesterday's inaugural Stena Explorer (HSS) highspeed sea service sailing this year from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, a Royal Navy inshore fast-patrol training boat followed in her wake, writes Jehan Ashmore.

HMS Express (P163) speed across the Irish Sea at some 17 knots from the Anglesea port while the HSS fast-ferrycraft surged ahead at almost 24 knots during her first crossing of the seasonal-only operated service of five months duration until 9 September.

The Archer P2000 class 20m patrol boat follows the visit of one of her 14 sisters, HMS Exploit (P127) which too made a call to Dublin Bay ports, firstly at the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club's marina in Ringsend and last week to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Marina.

The primary function of the P2000 class which form the First Patrol Boat Squadron is supporting the University Royal Naval Units (URNU) in addition they contribute to other wide range roles.

The URNU is based at HMS Cambria, a Royal Navy Reserve establishment near Cardiff and some of the patrol boats are based at Penarth Marina in Cardiff Bay.

Published in Naval Visits
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.

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