Royal Navy Mine Counter Measures Vessel HMS Penzance welcomed visitors at the Sea Bangor Festival.

The Sandown Class mine hunter and her 40-strong crew lowered the gangplank for one day, inviting onboard ticketed visitors to learn more about how they protect vital shipping lanes from the threat of maritime mines.

Also attending the popular festival, although not open to visitors, was Royal Navy Patrol Vessel HMS Raider, one of two Archer Class ships that make-up the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Penzance, Lieutenant Commander Timothy Castrinoyannakis, said: “The entire crew were excited to be attending the Sea Bangor Festival and for the opportunity to welcome members of the public onboard.

“Maritime trade routes are like superhighways with much of our energy and goods reaching us by sea. HMS Penzance and other ships of the Royal Navy work hard to keep these highways open and protected.

“The Sandown Class mine hunters are remarkable vessels, and it was great to give people an insight into what we do and what it’s like to live and work onboard a ship.”

Part of the First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1), HMS Penzance is specially designed to neutralize underwater threats. Operating the latest Sonar technology and the Seafox mine disposal system, the ship is regularly deployed around the world to hunt and destroy mines.

Launched in 1997, the ship has a range in excess of 2,500 miles, weighs 600 tonnes and is operated by a crew of around 40 highly trained Royal Navy sailors.