First sailors join new Royal Navy warship built to defend Britain's coasts from drugs gangs

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A NEW Royal Navy warship that will one day join the fight against drug smugglers and terror groups has welcomed the first members of her ship’s company.

Four sailors have become the first naval personnel to join the crew of one of Britain’s newest offshore patrol vessels, HMS Tamar.

HMS Tamar. Photo: Royal Navy

HMS Tamar. Photo: Royal Navy

Lieutenant Kevin ‘Mac’ McAllister, the ship’s senior naval officer, along with Petty Officer ‘Swifty’ Swift, Lieutenant Rich Brennan and Chief Petty Officer Andrew ‘Tugg’ Wilson, joined the warship at BAE’S Scotstoun yard.

They united with civilian engineers and technicians to take on Tamar’s contractor sea trials in the Firth of Clyde.

Speaking earlier this year about the importance of Britain’s future fleet of new patrol ships, defence minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: ‘Our offshore patrol vessels play a pivotal role in patrolling our coastline, protecting our domestic waters and supporting maritime interests from anti-smuggling to fisheries protection.’

Tamar is the fourth batch two River-class patrol ship to be built in Scotstoun, Glasgow, and has the accolade of being the greenest vessel the Royal Navy has ever had, the Senior Service said..

The first four members of the ship's company join HMS Tamar. Photo: Royal Navy

The first four members of the ship's company join HMS Tamar. Photo: Royal Navy

The ship has achieved the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Tier 3 status’, an updated set of fuel and vehicle standards aimed at cutting pollution.

Tamar has been fitted with the Urea tank system which cleans up the emissions from the ship’s engines and generators.

So far, she has been put through her paces during trials with the power and propulsion systems, radars, combat systems and 30mm cannon all passing a series of tests.

Commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Michael Hutchinson, who joined the crew during trials, said: ‘I am very impressed with the material state of Tamar, and I am extremely keen to get her into service and onto operations.’

Tamar will be based in Scotstoun until she is handed over to the Royal Navy in 2020 where she will become part of the Senior Service’s fleet in Portsmouth.

She is one of five new patrol ships being built. The others are HMS Forth, HMS Medway, HMS Trent and HMS Spey.