24th May 2020
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HMS Somerset arrives in isles

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The HMS Somerset in Lerwick today when The Shetland Times was invited onboard. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The HMS Somerset in Lerwick today when The Shetland Times was invited onboard. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Shetland is playing host to the prestigious Royal Navy vessel HMS Somerset.

The 4,500 tonne Type 23 anti-submarine frigate – one of 13 in the fleet – has berthed at Lerwick Harbour.

Commanding officer Michael Wood. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Commanding officer Michael Wood. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Her commanding officer, Michael Wood, said the ship was stopping off in Lerwick on her way to take part in a Nato anti-submarine exercise, Dynamic Mongoose, aimed at increasing anti-submarine skills and training.

“We’re stopping off along the way. It’s fantastic for us not only to see the Shetlands, to meet the people and let them see their ship and also to get fuel and stores on the way,” he said.

He added the ship, due to stay in port until Sunday, was kept at readiness in UK waters for a range of activities, including search and rescue, intelligence-led counter narcotics operations and counter-terrorism operations.

It is also regularly involved in the escort of modern Nato warships through UK waters.

“For any range of contingencies, the ship is ready to respond at short notice,” Commander Wood added.

The Shetland Times was given a guided tour of the vessel, as well as an opportunity to speak to key personnel. To read our full coverage, see next week’s paper. In the meantime enjoy this time-lapse video of the vesel’s Merlin helicopter being manoeuvred onto the deck, also published on our YouTube channel.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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One comment

  1. John M Scott

    It is not ‘THE’ HMS Somerset, as the title of the photograph of the ship suggests, it is just HMS Somerset. There is no need to use the definite article for one of Her Majesty’s ships


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