HUNDREDS of foreign sailors have arrived in Portsmouth on a magnificent tall ship.
The sail training ship El Mellah, a Polish-built tall vessel from the Algerian Navy, and her crew of 126 sailors and 84 trainees have made Portsmouth the first stop on the ship’s maiden voyage.
Onlookers were stunned by the sight of the crew lining the rigging of the ship – an equivalent of the Royal Navy’s’ procedure alpha’, where sailors line the deck of their vessel as they enter port.
Commodore Jeremy Bailey, Portsmouth Naval Base commander, was delighted by foreign visitors’ arrival.
He said: ‘I hope that this visit helps to strengthen the ties between the UK and Algeria, one that is important to both nations and that the visiting ship’s company make the most of their visit to Portsmouth and the UK.’
Over the next few days the ship’s company will be visit Portsmouth and beyond, before hosting an evening reception on board for both Algerian and Royal Navy guests.
Commissioned in Algiers in December 2018, she will be used for basic navigation and recruit training as well as representing the Algerian Navy in international events.
The three-mast vessel is 110m long with a total sail area of approximately 3,000 sqm, allowing the her to reach speeds of up to 17 knots
The crew of the El Mellah, which translates to ‘the sailor’, will be taken on tours of HMS Victory and the Historic Dockyard, while the ship will be refuelled and restored ready to proceed on their maiden voyage later this week.