Minehunter heads off to protect and clear weapons

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SAILORS on board a Royal Navy minehunter are on their way to clear weapons in the Mediterranean.

HMS Penzance has left to take up Nato duties in the region, patrolling the Med, the Black Sea, the eastern Atlantic and the other side of the Suez Canal.

Their job is to clear historic weapons from the two world wars, and more recent conflicts including the Balkans in the 1990s.

Leading Diver Matthew Baker, 28, from Portsmouth, said: ‘It’s been a while since I’ve worked under the Nato badge, but I’m really looking forward to working as part of a task group 
again. It was a really great experience last time in the Baltic, and I have no doubt it’ll be just as successful this time around.’

HMS Penzance, a Clyde-based ship, is taking over from Portsmouth-based HMS Ledbury.

The Nato force is made up of minehunters from Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the UK.

HMS Penzance’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Nick Unwin, added: ‘Our upcoming work in the Mediterranean will continue to build a strengthen our working relationships with our NATO colleagues.’