THE crew of minehunter HMS Ledbury threw open her hatches to welcome 50 families on board for a day at sea.
Relatives of the ship’s company were treated to five hours on board to get a feel for life in the Royal Navy.
As the Portsmouth-based ship sailed around the Solent, relatives were given tours of the vessel and demonstrations by the various departments on board – including a look at the hi-tech Seafox robot which is used to destroy sea mines.
An added bonus was a flypast by Royal Navy Sea King and Lynx helicopters.
The ship’s navigating officer, Sub Lieutenant Matt Millyard, said: ‘The aircraft were from the assault ship HMS Bulwark which is at the Southampton Boat show at the moment.
‘They had just left the ship and made sure they flew directly over us as a special treat for the families. It went down really well.’
Next up for HMS Ledbury is a two-week exercise off Scotland in October followed by goodwill port visits to Newcastle and Harwich.
The ship heads overseas for a deployment with a Nato minehunting force in January next year.