Portsmouth: HMS Severn Welcomed Home

Families have lined the jetty to welcome home the crew of a Royal Navy patrol vessel which has travelled more than 30,000 miles during an eight-month deployment to the Caribbean.

HMS Severn home

HMS Severn visited 29 ports across 20 different countries and islands during the deployment, providing security and reassurance to British Overseas Territories and dependencies while also being on standby to assist in the event of a natural disaster.

Lieutenant Commander Steven Banfield, the ship's commanding officer, was welcomed home by his wife, Georgina, 33, and daughters, Florence, three, and Arabella, one.

He said: ``It's great to be back and to have a big crowd to welcome us back is amazing. We are all glad to be back and we are all proud of the job we have done.

``My ship's company have performed admirably to achieve our mission across the North Atlantic.

``Our thanks must go to our families, without their support we would not be able to do the job we love and would not have achieved as much as we have done in the past eight months.''

Pollyanna Montagu, with children, Amelia, four, and Theodore, six months, welcomed back her husband, Lieutenant Tim Montagu, from Stockbridge, Hampshire.

She said: ``It's absolutely wonderful, really lovely. It's probably his last deployment before he leaves so it's a great home-coming.''

Lt Montagu said: ``It's fantastic, really special, it's my last deployment so it's particularly special.''

Carol Dowsett, from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, was meeting her son, Able Seaman Ben Dowsett, 23.

She said: ``It's wonderful, these guys go out there and do not know what they are going to find. It's lovely to have him home but I'm not looking forward to all the washing.''

The ship visited all of the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean where the 48-strong crew carried out training with local maritime fisheries enforcement agencies, worked with the Red Cross and got involved with the local community.

The ship's doctor and medical team offered medical training and the crew painted children's homes, took part in sporting competitions and disaster relief exercises.

The ship also took part in training exercises and took part in counter-narcotics operations.

Able Seaman Ryan Partington, 25, said: ``It's been a fantastic deployment - I've visited more places over the last eight months than I have in my seven-year Navy career, done a multi-national exercise and helped local communities all over the Caribbean.

``Now I'm looking forward to seeing my son and my parents as we get back alongside in Portsmouth.''

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