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Royal Navy ship in environmental study

HMS Protector in the Southern Ocean Credit: Royal Navy

Uncharted areas of the Southern Ocean have been surveyed by scientists on the Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS Protector, based in Portsmouth. The survey findings will help determine the scale of any clean-up work at penguin colonies off the Sandwich Islands.

Scientists carry out environmental impact study Credit: Royal Navy

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.

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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

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

HMS Westminster visits Indian Ocean

Crew from HMS Westminster are on deployment in the Indian Ocean Credit: Royal Navy

Portsmouth-based HMS Westminster is currently on deployment in the Indian Ocean conducting counter piracy operations and training.

The warship was in Tanzania in mid December and undertook training, sporting and social activities since its time out there.

The warship ran an interactive training programme in the Indian Ocean Credit: Royal Navy

The visit saw a three day maritime operations training package with the Tanzania Maritime Law Enforcement Detachment.

The team ran an interactive programme which covered all the aspects of boarding operations at the Dar es Salaam harbour.

The Indian Ocean provided a beautiful backdrop for their training Credit: Royal Navy

Lieutenant Nick Palmer, HMS Westminster’s RN Boarding Officer, said: “It was really enjoyable to work with the Tanzanian LEDET team. They were enthusiastic throughout and truly learnt a lot.”

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