Royal Navy families given a tour of Britain's newest warship HMS Spey ahead of its maiden mission later this month

NAVAL families have been given a tour of Britain’s newest warship – which was brought to life faster than any other ship since the Second World War.

Loved ones of the 46 men and women who will take HMS Spey on the adventure of a lifetime later this year were given exclusive access to the ship ahead of its maiden deployment.

The patrol ship is about to head to the Indo-Pacific region in company with her older sister HMS Tamar – a mission which will take the pair away from the UK for perhaps five years or more.

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A young lad tries his hand at firefighting during the families day on HMS Spey. Photo: LPhot Lee Blease

The breakneck speed of her transformation from lifeless hull – the first sailor joined at the end of August last year – to operational warship, a hectic training schedule, plus a commissioning ceremony off Invergordon and Covid restrictions, most of the crew’s families only got to see Spey close-up for the first time in Portsmouth Naval Base.

With preparations for Spey’s departure at the end of month at full throttle, there wasn’t the opportunity for families to see the warship demonstrate her speed, manoeuvrability and above all numerous capabilities – everything from maritime security operations to providing disaster relief.

There was, however, plenty of time to look around living and working quarters, sit in the captain’s chair, dress up as a firefighter, fight off balloon animals, and get faces painted.

Youngsters even had the opportunity to try their hands at some of the life-saving skills taught to the men and women of Spey.

All patched up - a young girl has a bandage put on her by a member of HMS Spey's crew during the ship's families' day. Photo: LPhot Lee Blease

And for crew, who’ve brought Spey to life faster than any other navy vessel since the Second World War, it was a chance to show off the nation’s newest warship.

‘We are incredibly proud of HMS Spey. We think of her as the last in the class – and the best in the class,’ said Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans.

‘Everyone on board has worked incredibly hard to get the ship ready for her deployment. The support of our families has been crucial.

‘They have not had the chance to see Spey until now. It’s our opportunity to thank them.’

Stayin' alive - a girl turns her hand to some CPR during the HMS Spey families' day. Photo: LPhot Lee Blease

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HMS Spey's bridge wing pictured.
Two boys sit in one of HMS Spey's Pacific 24 boats. Photo: LPhot Lee Blease