HMS Echo’s Commanding Officer Commander Phillip Newell will sail his Royal Navy survey ship into Liverpool on Tuesday 7 April for a six day visit. The ship will berth at the south end of Liverpool Cruise Terminal Berth at approximately 13:00.
On Friday 10 April, HMS Echo will be joined on the same berth by HMS Mersey who is in Liverpool for a routine visit. HMS Echo and HMS Mersey will both be open to the public on Friday from 11:00 until 16:00 with last entry at 15:30.
The two ships will remain alongside until HMS Mersey sails on Sunday 12 April at approximately 10:30, followed later that day by HMS Echo at around 16:30.
HMS Echo will also be hosting a number of invited guests on board throughout her stay and these include Sea Cadets from Crew and Connah’s Quay units. Representatives from the World Ship Society will also visit the ship.
Commander Newell took Command of HMS Echo in December 2013 and this is his third sea Command. He said:” My crew and I are very much looking forward to sailing into Liverpool and to welcoming a number of local groups and members of the public on board”.
Plymouth based survey Ship HMS Echo was was launched at Appledore in Devon in 2002, and was designed to carry out a wide range of survey work, including support to submarine and amphibious operations.
HMS Echo achieves this through the collection of oceanographic, hydrographic and bathymetric data, which includes analysis of the ocean, its salinity and sound profile. She was the first Royal Navy ship to use azimuth thrusters, where the propellers are part of a swiveling pod, allowing for precise manoeuvering.
Her survey motor boat, Sapphire, is capable of operating independently, supporting a small group of surveyors who can live and work ashore to carry out surveys. Survey data gathered is fully transferable between the two vessels. To ensure she can operate in any environment HMS Echo possesses an impressive array of weapons for force protection.
HMS Echo returned home late last year after 18 months conducting Military Data Gathering of the Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean and Indian Oceans. The marathon tour of duty included being diverted to the western coast of Australia in the international hunt for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
HMS MERSEY JOINS HMS ECHO IN MERSEYSIDE AND OPENS TO VISITORS
HMS Mersey’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander David Gillett will sail his River Class patrol ship into Liverpool Cruise Terminal Berth, Princes Parade, between 15:00 and 16:00 hrs on Thursday 9 April. HMS Mersey will be berthed alongside Royal Navy survey ship HMS Echo who is in town for a routine visit.
The River Class patrol ships can be utilised for anything from fire-fighting to disaster relief operations, working at least 275 days a year at sea enforcing British and European fisheries law. The 80 metre ship has a crew of five officers and 24 senior and junior ratings and a range of 7,800 sea miles.
Although HMS Mersey is in town for a routine visit she will also be open to visitors on Friday 10 April from 11:00 to 16:00, with last entry at 15:30. Public access is through Gate 4. HMS Echo will also open her gangway to visitors at the same time. Crew members from each ship will be on hand to chat to visitors about their roles and life on board.
Lieutenant Commander Gillett said: “My ship’s company and I are looking forward to returning to Merseyside and to welcoming local people on board on Friday”.
HMS Mersey will sail at approximately 10:30 on Sunday 12 April and will then make a brief return visit to Merseyside between 15 and 18 April for crew rotation purposes.
Lieutenant Commander Gillett has most recently served as Operations Officer in HMS Bulwark, the Fleet Flagship and was involved in Op Olympics at Weymouth and the Cougar 12 deployment to the Mediterranean as the lead amphibious vessel of the Response Force Task Group. He began his Royal Navy service in 1993 and assumed command of HMS Mersey in January 2014 after which she transitioned from refit to re-join the Fleet, ready for front-line operations
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