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Crews able to enjoy Lisbon after busy time at sea

The helicopter carrier pays a routine visit to Lisbon Credit: Royal Navy

Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious has just paid a routine visit to Lisbon after completing Exercise Deep Blue.

Exercise Deep Blue was an Anti-Submarine Warfare exercise involving surface, submarine and air participants from the UK, France and the Netherlands.

The ship at the heart of the city in Jardim do Tabaco Credit: Royal Navy
Crew on board the ship were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city after a busy time at sea Credit: Royal Navy

For an intensive two week period, a multitude of exercise scenarios tested, and proved, the capabilities of all units working together as a multi-national task group.

Crews were able to enjoy the fantastic sights and sounds of Lisbon after their busy work schedule!

Genius or madness turning Illustrious into floating hospital?

Video. The future of HMS Illustrious is under discussion. The Portsmouth based warship is about to be decommissioned. She could be used to promote trade and for humanitarian work.

Sally Simmonds spoke to James Roy, yacht design director and Bill Dixon who has spent 27 years in yacht design and never seen a design like it.

To visit BMT's website to find out more about the designs, please click here.

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HMS Illustrious returns to Portsmouth

They've spent 152 days at sea - sacrificing christmas with their families to help others in desperate need of vital aid.

But today, sailors on board HMS Illustrious finally returned to Portsmouth to a rapturous welcome.

The vessel was due to return in December but was diverted to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan to help with the relief effort.

Although it's a month later than planned, today's homecoming was an emotional reunion for the families of the 650 crew on board. Richard Jones reports.

Family and friends wait for HMS Illustrious to arrive

Friends and family wait for loved ones on board HMS Illustrious to arrive in Portsmouth Credit: ITV Meridian

Christmas at last for sailors and their families.

Thousands of people have gathered on the dockside at Portsmouth Naval Base to welcome home the carrier HMS Illustrious.

The ship was due home before Christmas but was diverted to the Philippines to help deliver aid in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

So for many of the crew and their families, Christmas celebrations will this weekend!

Illustrious spent three weeks in the typhoon-affected region delivering supplies and carrying out repairs to buildings.

The crew believe they were able to help at least 40,000 people, many in some of the most isolated areas.

She has been away since August and will now undergo essential maintenance before going back to sea later in the year.

Crew members forego Christmas to help in Philippines

Crew of HMS Illustrious are coming back from the Philippines Credit: ITV Meridian
The ship had been on deployment in the Gulf when it was diverted to deliver aid after the typhoon in the Philippines Credit: ITV Meridian
Crew members were away for Christmas, which will probably be celebrated this weekend with friends and family! Credit: ITV Meridian

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Philippines to Portsmouth, HMS Illustrious comes home

HMS Illustrious is heading back to the UK after helping in the aftermath of the Philippines disaster.

The ship and her 650 crew members delivered emergency aid supplies in response to the typhoon.

The 23,000-tonne ship was operating in the Gulf when it was diverted to the Philippines to relieve HMS Daring, which was one of the first ships on the scene.

Commanding Officer, Captain Mike Utley, said, "Our capabilities perfectly matched what was required in the Philippines.

"We were able to get to where we were needed quickly and our size and flexibility meant that we could store and distribute extremely large volumes of emergency aid supplies."

HMS Illustrious Credit: © UK Crown copyright 2013

Christmas delivery for navy sailors

Sailors from HMS Illustrious helping to take presents on board Credit: Royal Navy

Portsmouth-based HMS Illustrious received a large parcel of presents in time for Christmas, despite being in Singapore across the holiday.

The ship had a delivery of 600 bags of mail from families and loved ones.

The endless sacks of presents for the sailors away from their families this christmas Credit: Royal Navy
The sailors have received an abundance of presents despite being out in Singapore Credit: Royal Navy

The ship picked up the bags in Singapore when she called into replenish food, fuel and essential stores.

HMS Illustrious has completed her aid operation and is now on the long voyage home. The remaining crew of around 530 men and women are expected to be reunited with their loved ones in early January.

HMS Illustrious personnel help repair school

Personnel from HMS Illustrious have enabled 450 children in the Philippines to return to school after repairing the building as part of their ongoing humanitarian mission.

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HMS Illustrious personnel help children return to school Credit: Crown Copyright 2013

Royal Navy Merlin, Sea King and Army Lynx helicopters from Illustrious are sweeping the region to identify the worst hit areas before teams are despatched to help people to recover from the effects of Typhoon Haiyan.

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HMS Illustrious personnel help children return to school Credit: Crown Copyright 2013

One such recent mission was the repair of the school on the island of Calagnaan to the north east of Panay. A specialist team of twenty men and women were deployed to carry out the work. The efforts of the team will allow 450 children to return to the school.

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HMS Illustrious personnel help children return to school Credit: Crown Copyright 2013
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