PORTSMOUTH-based Fishery Protection vessel HMS Mersey has closed one chapter and opened another with a new captain.
Lieutenant Commander Mark Anderson has taken over as Commanding Officer from Lt Cdr Carl Wiseman.
Mark is well acquainted with Mersey having previously served as her executive officer – the ship’s second-in-command.
Mark, who now lives in Gosport, grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland and joined the Royal Navy in 1996.
His job before assuming command of Mersey was being in charge of underwater warfare training at HMS Collingwood, Fareham.
His career highlights include taking part in anti-smuggling operations in the Hong Kong patrol vessels, protecting Iraqi oil platforms in the Gulf and visiting the Caribbean on counter-narcotics operations.
Lt Cdr Anderson said: ‘Heading up one of the finest ships based in my adopted hometown of Portsmouth is an immense privilege for me and I would say it is my proudest moment.’
HMS Mersey has now sailed to Belfast for a port visit in a short break from her duties enforcing fishing regulations and providing maritime security in UK waters.
‘It is a real privilege for me to return home and for the ship’s company to enjoy the traditional warm welcome and hospitality of Belfast,’ added Lt Cdr Anderson.
HMS Mersey is one of three River class offshore patrol vessels whose primary role is to protect fish stocks by ensuring fisherman follow the regulations. The other two ships are HMS Tyne and Severn – and all three operate on behalf of the Marine Management Organisation which tasks the ships with their operations.