Sailor 'Jessie' celebrates 22 years in the navy

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A sailor is celebrating 22 years serving in the Royal Navy.

Andrew 'Jessie' Owens, 42, who lives in North End with his wife Susan, is serving on one of the Royal Navy's fisheries protection vessels, HMS Mersey.

Jessie joined the Royal Navy as a marine engineering mechanic aged 19 and has served on many ships, including HMS Brecon, Middleton, Shetland, Alderney, Dumbarton Castle, Bridport and Tyne.

But he said his best draft was his first one to HMS Endurance as she deployed via South America to the Antarctic.

The father-of-two's role onboard Mersey is mainly looking after the ship's propulsion plant, two diesel engines as well as all the other auxiliary systems that keep the ship floating and moving.

Being on a small ship means that every member of the ship's company has many other roles on board and Jessie is no exception - he is in charge of controlling the hydraulic boat davit when the seaboat is needed for boarding other ships or recovery of a man overboard, securing the ship alongside and he is part of the ship's sea-going fire and emergency party.

He said: 'Being on a small ship means that you are trusted with more responsibility much earlier in your career, and this gives me a lot of job satisfaction. Being part of the Royal Navy has given me the chance to do things I wouldn't have done had I not joined up.'