Royal Navy warship HMS Medway gets a Hollywood exit from Portsmouth on maiden deployment to fight pirates in the Caribbean
ROUSING tunes from the hit Hollywood movie Pirates of the Caribbean were the soundtrack for the maiden deployment of one of the Royal Navy’s newest patrol ships.
HMS Medway set sail from Portsmouth today for the Caribbean, as her crew began their first operational mission in the region.
And as the 2,000-tonne warship steamed out of the harbour, the original score for the Disney film franchise, starring Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, boomed from its sound system.
Families gathered at the Round Tower, in Old Portsmouth, to wave off their loved ones.
Susie Mason, 32, from Portsmouth, was waving goodbye to her husband Lieutenant John Mason – who was responsible for setting up Medway’s musical exit.
‘He told me yesterday that he was going to play Pirates of the Caribbean when he left and I said “don’t be silly, you won’t be allowed to do that”,’ said Susie, who was accompanied by her youngest son, Edward, three.
‘But it was great hearing it as they were leaving – we’ve had the song stuck in our head all day now.’
Helen Davis, 36, of Petersfield, was with sons Louis, nine months, and Teddy, four, to say goodbye to her husband, Chief Petty Officer Tom Davis.
She said: ‘This is potentially his last sea draft so it’s very exciting for him being on board now. It’s a really special deployment.’
Medway, which was still under construction seven months ago, has been tasked with raiding drug gangs and tackling pirates in the paradise region. The vessel is also equipped for disaster relief, if needed during hurricane season.
Mrs Davis added she was always nervous seeing her husband off on deployment.
‘There are always worries,’ she said. ‘You just never know what’s going to happen to them from one week to the next.’
Catrin Davies travelled all the way from Pencoed, in Wales, to say goodbye to her husband, Petty Officer Will Davies - who maintains the ship’s communications.
Holding her two-year-old son, the 32-year-old mum said: ‘This is the first time we have seen him go away. He has done a couple of deployments before but this is the first one since our little one was born.
‘It’s also extra special because this is going to be his last sea draft.’
The ship’s company are working on a rotational watch system, with sailors spending eight weeks on board and four weeks off.
‘It will be quite a disruptive year for us but it will be nice for him to come back so we can have some family time together,’ Mrs Mason added.
Captained by Commander Ben Powers, Medway is the second of five batch two offshore patrol vessels.
She is bigger and more powerful than the first batch and is capable of embarking teams of Royal Marines and special forces assault teams.