IT was Bon Voyage to two Royal Navy offshore patrol vessels when they stopped off in Falmouth before sailing across the Atlantic to the Caribbean where they will be on duty for four to five years.

HMS Tamar and HMS Spey, bedecked in dazzle camouflage, courtesy of Falmouth Docks from earlier maintenance periods in Cornwall, will depart UK waters on a deployment that is set to take them through the Panama Canal and along West Coast of the United States into the Pacific Ocean.

Falmouth Packet:

HMS Tamar sailing from Falmouth Docks. Picture RN

From there the two OPVs will operate in the Indo-Asia Pacific region for the next four to five years, working with partners in the area including Australia, Japan and Singapore to name but three.


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There to wish them farewell was the Queen’s representative in the county, the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, as well as the mayor of Truro, cllr Steve Webb, HMS Tamar’s affiliated city.

As a favour of goodwill to the two departing OPVs the local community presented a selection of Cornish produce and goods from the region, that they hoped would remind the sailors of their close ties with the county and the south west.

Commanding officer, Commander Teilo Elliot-Smith Royal Navy, said “In HMS Tamar we depart feeling buoyant, carrying the good will from our generously-spirited affiliates. It is appropriate that the last formal engagement prior to a global deployment is for us to check in at ‘home’.

Falmouth Packet:

HMS Tamar with HMS Spey in front sails from Falmouth Docks. Picture RN

“Our mission is to support reinforcement of existing military, diplomatic and trade partnerships in Indo Asia Pacific, developing new alliances as we go and demonstrating our interoperability with a range of regional maritime actors. We have been well prepared, trained and are eager to get started on a new era in permanent forward deployed operations for the Royal Navy.

Falmouth Packet:

HMS Spey leaves Falmouth Docks. Picture RN

“We may soon be out of sight but hopefully not out of mind as we will certainly be keeping our friends and affiliates up-to-date with news of our exploits.”