Portsmouth-based warship HMS Mersey shadows Russian oil tanker

Credit: Royal Navy

Portsmouth-based patrol ship HMS Mersey was called upon to monitor the movement's of Russian oil tanker Akademik Pashinn which appeared off the South Coast on August 14.

HMS Mersey shadowed the Russian tanker from the North Sea, through the Dover Strait and down the leg of the channel towards the North Atlantic.

Akademik Pashinn is the first tanker built for the Russian Navy since the end of the Cold War, supplying the ships of the Northern Fleet with the fuel they need to sustain operations.

The Russian tanker has also been spotted off the coast of Ireland, Portugal and Spain in recent weeks.

HMS Mersey Credit: Royal Navy

Able Seaman Jordan Mavin was on watch and was the first sailor to sight the tanker “We were aware of her movements for some time and everything came together to allow us to shadow her

"Operating so close to our own coastline I was proud to be part of the team who monitored her movements.”

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell, added: “It has been a team effort, working with our NATO partners monitoring the movements of Russian vessels through the North Sea and English Channel.”

“Whilst most of the UK has been enjoying a record summer of warm weather, Mersey is just one of a number of Royal Naval vessels maintaining a continuous presence at sea, protecting UK interests.”

The Akademik Pashin has continued her voyage into the Atlantic, while HMS Mersey has resumed her patrols of home waters.

HMS Mersey is one of ships, along with HMS Tyne and HMS Severn, that provides the Royal Navy with a constant presence in UK waters and environs, monitoring contacts of interest, keeping an eye out for illegal activities, and ready to support the Marine Management Organisation to ensure fishermen of all nationalities stick within the rules and quotas when trawling in our fishing grounds.