HMS Kent returns home to Portsmouth

The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD

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SAILORS on board Type 23 frigate HMS Kent have returned home to Portsmouth today after seven months away from their loved ones.

There were tearful reunions as the ship’s company left the ship to be with their families on the jetty at Portsmouth Naval Base.

HMS Kent is escorted back into Portsmouth Harbour by a Merlin helicopter. Picture: LA(Phot) Ian Simpson

HMS Kent is escorted back into Portsmouth Harbour by a Merlin helicopter. Picture: LA(Phot) Ian Simpson

The ship has been on deployment to the Middle East, sailing more than 39,000 miles on security and counter-piracy patrols in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and the Gulf.

Georgie Richardson, 24, from Gosport, was there to meet husband Daniel with their two-year-old son Jack.

Young Jack was so keen to see his father again that he nearly ran up the gangway when the ship came alongside.

Georgie said: ‘It is so nice to see him back with his dad.

‘Daniel is Jack’s hero and he has really been looking forward to seeing him again.

‘It’s my first homecoming and it’s Daniel’s first deployment so it has been quite emotional.’

HMS Kent left Portsmouth in March and became the first major Royal Navy warship to be invited to visit Tripoli in Libya in over 40 years.