Ship’s crew march for independence day

ALL WHITE Sailors marching in Belize
ALL WHITE Sailors marching in Belize

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SAILORS from Portsmouth-based HMS Lancaster took part in an independence day parade in Belize.

Dressed in tropical No 1 uniforms the sailors marched around Belmopan, the capital, along with servicemen from the Belize Defence Force.

Cheered on by local schoolchildren the 20 sailors marched four miles through the city.

HMS Lancaster was anchored off Belize City for four days. The Type 23 frigate is on a six-month deployment to the North Atlantic and Caribbean.

Her task is providing security to the region, along with conducting counter-narcotic operations.

The sailors were welcomed to Belize with a reception by the Governor General, which concluded with a midnight flag lowering ceremony.

Midnight marks the time the Union Jack was lowered for the last time in the country in 1981.

Commander Steve Moorhouse is the commanding officer of HMS Lancaster.

He met the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the British High Commissioner and the heads of the Belizean military to discuss the ship’s capabilities for counter-narcotic operations and for humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

He said: ‘Belize 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. Whilst we are in the region we will continue to support the people of Belize in any way we can.’

Lancaster will now continue on to the central Caribbean.