Royal Navy's HMS Trent returns to Portsmouth with sailors wearing Santa hats while playing Christmas songs

THE Royal Navy warship HMS Trent has returned to Portsmouth and brought some festive cheer with it – as sailors in Santa hats lined the deck while Christmas hits rang out.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 6:47 pm

HMS Trent, a 295ft River class patrol ship, has spent the last four months hunting terrorists and smugglers as part of a Nato mission in the Mediterranean.

Now she’s returned to the city, sailing past the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth at 3pm this afternoon.

With Christmas songs being played for scattered onlookers across the waterfront, sailors in Santa hats lined the deck to wave to those who had come out to welcome the ship home.

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HMS Trent returning to Portsmouth this afternoon. Picture: Richard Lemmer

Among them was Emma Hayzen-Smith and her two children Elsie, six, and Tilly, seven, who had turned out wave to husband and dad Tom Hayzen-Smith, who is serving onboard.

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Drayton resident Emma said: ‘He has served for more than 19 years. I am very proud.

‘He has missed a couple of birthdays while he was away, but they have WiFi onboard the ship so they could call quite often.

HMS Trent during its Nato mission in the Mediterranean. Picture: Royal Navy

‘It will be great to spend Christmas together as a family.

‘But he’s not too pleased to be coming back to all the pubs not being open.’

Another city resident had come down with her two children to wave to a family friend serving onboard.

Milton resident Naomi, alongside her children Arthur and Oscar, said: ‘This is our first time going out for HMS Trent – it’s something to do in tier four during our daily exercise.

‘I do like to see the ships come in, growing up around here the Royal Navy becomes part of your life.’

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