Unusual ride for commander of Iron Duke

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A GUN boat which survived the Second World War was sent out on active service again – as a water taxi.

Instead of a mercy dash to rescue aircraft pilots who had bailed out into the ocean Motor Gun Boat 81 had the privilege of carrying Commander Nick Cook-Priest ashore for the last time at the end of his commission as captain of HMS Iron Duke.

It was the Type 23 frigate in which Prince William returned to Portsmouth from a busy six-and-a-half month Gulf deployment last July.

The gun boat will now be docked in the naval base for a significant upkeep period. The ship is famous for making the largest ever drugs haul in UK naval history in 2009. It prevented millions of pounds of cocaine flooding onto the streets of Britain.

This unusual water-taxi service was arranged by the officers of Iron Duke and came as a complete surprise to their captain, who was transported in style to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard landing jetty.