February 26, 2021 – Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Mersey has tracked the movements of a surfaced Russian submarine as it sailed through waters close to the UK.
The River-class offshore patrol vessel was on watch as the Kilo-class diesel powered attack submarine RFS Rostov Na Donu sailed through wintry seas in the North Sea and English Channel on its journey from the Baltic to the Mediterranean.
Mersey reported on the movements of the Russian Black Sea Fleet submarine, so that NATO Allies could track her progress as she continued her onward journey.
Commanding Officer of HMS Mersey, Lieutenant Commander Will Edwards-Bannon, said: “All of us in Mersey are very proud of the part we play, here in our home waters, in fulfilling the Royal Navy’s role of protecting our nation’s interests.
“No patrol is ever the same as the last and we have conducted a particularly varied range of missions recently, culminating with the tracking of this Russian submarine as it passes the UK.”
Mersey was also on duty when the Kilo-class submarine made the reverse journey in October last year, as she returned from operations in the Mediterranean back to the Baltic.
This latest operation comes amid a busy time for the Royal Navy’s patrol ships, with Mersey and her sister ships HMS Tyne and HMS Severn all on maritime security patrols in the seas around the UK.
Royal Navy patrol ships are involved in a range of missions, including fishery protection, which has been their responsibility for many years, but also coordinating with the Joint Maritime Security Centre to share information relating to suspicious or dangerous activity at sea alongside the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and National Crime Agency.
“You never know what’s around the corner when serving in these ships, but you can always rely on Mersey and her fantastic ship’s company, made-up of both regulars and reservists, to get the job done,” added Lt Cdr Edwards-Bannon.
Sub Lieutenant Andrew Davidson, one of Mersey’s Officers of the Watch, said: “I only joined Mersey last month and she is my first ship as a qualified Bridge watch-keeper.
“I’ve been impressed by the range of missions that we have already been involved with over such a short period of time.
“It feels good to have the opportunity to be out here doing something worthwhile for the UK, especially when you know how much good is being done at home by our NHS, key-workers and all those involved with the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.”