Naval commander takes his final ride – on a camel

Commander Philip Dennis rides the camel as the ship's company form a 'gauntlet of honour'
Commander Philip Dennis rides the camel as the ship's company form a 'gauntlet of honour'
Senior conservator Diana McCormack with the unfurled Trafalgar Sail Picture: Habibur Rahman

Iconic Trafalgar Sail is unfurled at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for rare public display

0
Have your say

ALMOST three years in charge of HMS Daring have come to end for Commander Philip Dennis – who marked his departure by riding off along a Bahrain beach on the back of a camel.

The ship’s company of the Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer decided a send-off with a desert theme would be just the ticket for Cdr Dennis as they reached the halfway point of their nine-month deployment to the Middle East.

So after addressing the 250 men and women under his wing for the final time, Cdr Dennis departed the ship in Bahrain and found the camel waiting for him.

‘It has been my privilege to have been the captain of HMS Daring for well over two-and- a-half years,’ said Cdr Dennis during his address to the ship.

‘I hope that you are as proud of your efforts as I am of you.’

The ship’s company formed a ‘gauntlet of honour’ on the beach just outside the Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY), applauding Cdr Dennis as his camel was guided along the sand by an experienced local handler.

HMS Daring is deployed on maritime security duties in some of the world’s most important shipping lanes and has just completed a mid-deployment break in Bahrain, where essential maintenance is carried out to ensure the ship can continue its vital air defence operations.

Cdr Marcus Hember, who has previously been in charge of Daring’s younger sister ship HMS Diamond, is now in charge of Daring.

HMS Daring is one of the Royal Navy’s six advanced air destroyers and plays an important role during her nine-month deployment escorting allied warships and international merchant shipping through the Gulf of Aden and surrounding seas.

She continues the role her sister ship HMS Defender carried out earlier this year.

The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer is working as part of the Combined Maritime Forces – a collective of 31 nations promoting security and stability in some of the world’s most vital shipping lanes. Its main effort is to disrupt terrorist organisations at sea in an area from the Suez Canal, through the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and into the Gulf of Oman.