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Queen to visit HMS Lancaster in Portsmouth today

The Queen will be in Portsmouth, visiting HMS Lancaster Credit: Paul Hackett/PA Wire

The Queen will be in Portsmouth today visiting HMS Lancaster.

She will be meeting the crew onboard the Type 23 frigate, which has been part of the Portsmouth fleet since 1992.

The Queen is the ship's sponsor and takes an interest in her deeds around the globe.

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Mechanic saved vessel and averted marine disaster

Christos XXII, the tug that CPO Neil Halsey helped to salvage Credit: Royal Navy

Armed only with softwood wedges to hammer into holes and two commercial pumps, Navy mechanic, CPO Neil Halsey demonstrated “gallant endeavour and outstanding leadership” and has received the Queen's Commendation for bravery for his work in salvaging a ship in distress.

He led his team in a dark room filled with diesel fumes, shoulder-height oily water, and lit by a single lamp. Despite freezing conditions that made gripping the hammers extremely difficult, Halsey remained resolute and his determination ensured the vessel stayed afloat for the salvage boat.

If the tug had capsized or smashed on the rocks, more than 200 tonnes of diesel would have leaked out, just a few miles from Torbay’s beaches.

HMS Lancaster mechanic commended by the Queen

Chief Petty Officer Neil Halsey, who has been awarded a Queen's Commendation for bravery Credit: Royal Navy

A Royal Navy engineer from Portsmouth-based HMS Lancaster has been awarded a Queen's Commendation for bravery.

Chief Petty Officer Nail Halsey, a Marine Engineering Mechanic, repeatedly entered freezing waters in the engine room of a sinking tug to stop water gushing in.

He was leading a three-man team on board the stricken tug Christos XXII. She had been hit by a vessel she was towing and was floundering close to rocks off the coast of Torbay on 13th January 2013.

HMS Lancaster has new Commanding Officer

HMS Lancaster has a new Commanding Officer at the helm.

After two years at the helm Commander Steve Moorhouse handed over command of the ‘Queen’s Frigate’ to Commander Peter Laughton MBE.

HMS Lancaster is nearing the end of her seven month deployment and has just left Trinidad in the Caribbean after spending five days there.

It has been a great honour to sail Lancaster into Trinidad as we come to the end of a very successful period of counter narcotic operations. For me it is the last of a long line of islands visited this year and as it is the final port that I sail Lancaster into, it is a place that will always be memorable to me.

– The outgoing Commanding Officer, Commander Steve Moorhouse

It is a tremendous honour to assume command of Lancaster in Trinidad and have the opportunity to bring the ship home after its long and highly successful deployment to the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago has a long and rich history with the UK and the Royal Navy in particular, and I believe that our visit has renewed old friendships and helped establish many new ones, in particular with the Trinidad Coast Guard.

– HMS Lancaster’s new Commanding Officer, Commander Peter Laughton MBE

Crew thanked for drugs bust

The Ship’s Company of Portsmouth-based HMS Lancaster have been thanked by police for helping detect three cannabis plantations resulting in the seizure of 204 plants.

HMS Lancaster is on patrol in the North Atlantic & Caribbean and was visiting the island of Anguilla when the drugs bust took place.

At the request of the Royal Anguilla Police Force (RAPF), Lancaster’s Lynx helicopter took to the air with two island detectives onboard to scour the island for cannabis plantations. They identified, photographed and recorded three potential sites.

As soon as the helicopter touched down, a team of policemen from the RAPF raided the locations and, despite making no arrests, seized 204 cannabis plants.

Members of the Royal Anguilla Police Force and a crew from HMS Lancaster carried out a Cannabis Eradication Operation in various parts of Anguilla namely North Hill, Cedar Village and Sandy Hill. During this operation a total of 204 cannabis plants were seized. This operation comprised of resources from HMS Lancaster’s aviation crew and officers of the RAPF who were airborne and officers who made up several ground teams. I would like to thank the crew of HMS Lancaster for their assistance and look forward to working with them again."

– Spokesman for the Royal Anguilla Police Force

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