Royal Navy vessel, HMS Severn arrived in the Cayman Islands on 18 January, welcoming students, chefs, the Governor and the Premier on board.
A river class offshore patrol vessel with a relatively shallow draft, the Severn was able to break custom for its larger, heavier Royal Navy counterparts, and anchored alongside the Port of George Town’s north terminal. Since the ship replaced HMS Argyll on patrol of the Caribbean in December 2014, it has already visited nine islands. It will remain in the region through July 2015 to provide maritime security, disaster relief capability and counter-narcotics support to British Overseas Territories. Another objective is to promote the Royal Navy as a viable career for young people. In addition to hosting on-board visits by students from John Gray and Clifton Hunter High Schools, the vessel’s commanding officer and senior officers paid courtesy calls to the Governor and the Premier on Monday morning 19 January 2015. Other highlights of the visit included a football game against inmates of Northward Prison, the attendance at an on-board reception of top British chef Adam Handling who was on island for the Cayman Cookout, and a meeting with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Marine Unit to discuss counter-narcotics operations. The Portsmouth based HMS Severn has an on-board crew of about 30 and is one of three vessels tasked with fisheries patrol in the United Kingdom. Its next port-of-call is Barbados.