DANCING around their ship’s flight deck, the crew of HMS Ocean can hardly contain their excitement at finally coming home.
When they were told they would be back in time for Christmas, the crew of the biggest ship in the Royal Navy couldn’t resist the urge to burst into song.
Set to the tune of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, the sailors have recorded their own music video to celebrate the festive season.
Lieutenant Kelly Cleeve, 30, filmed and edited the video with the help of the ship’s aviation team.
She said: ‘It was fun to do and the result raised many smiles both on and off the ship, so as far as we were concerned it was mission accomplished.
‘We had been thinking about doing it for some time as a way to boost morale and give the guys a bit of a diversion from the stresses and trials of the last seven months.
‘As soon as we heard we were finally being sent home, it seemed most appropriate to pick a Christmas song so the crew involved could send it as a message to those at home.
‘All we wanted for Christmas was to get back to them in time to celebrate the festive season.’
In the video, the sailors are seen playing guitars, sunbathing on the flight deck and bellowing lyrics from their bunks on board the ship.
Lt Cleeve, who was born in Winchester but now lives in Somerset, added: ‘Most of those who saw it were complaining that they had the song stuck in their heads for days afterwards.
‘The guys and girls all individually picked the lines they wanted and came up with their own ideas – and costumes – for how to do each bit, so it was very much a group effort.
‘We were experiencing an unusually quiet period with little flying, so took full advantage of that and worked hard to get it completed in about two days.’
Initially sent on a seven-week deployment, the crew of HMS Ocean have been at sea for seven months.
She was sent to help with operations off the coast of Libya earlier this year.
It meant five of those on board had to be sent home so they wouldn’t miss their own weddings.
And 15 fathers made it back to see their babies being born.