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HMS Dragon joins P&O cruise fleet parade on the company’s 175th anniversary

Wednesday, July 4th 2012 - 19:00 UTC
Full article 10 comments
Azura sails past the Type 45 destroyer Azura sails past the Type 45 destroyer
P&O cruise vessels belittle one of the Royal Navy’s most modern ships P&O cruise vessels belittle one of the Royal Navy’s most modern ships

She is normally known as quite a large warship, but HMS Dragon was dwarfed by seven liners in the Solent. The Type 45 destroyer’s crew stood in ceremonial uniform as the full P&O cruise fleet passed them as they marked the company’s 175th anniversary.

The Portsmouth-based ship was briefly lost in the grey gloom on Tuesday night as the luxury vessels left celebrations in Southampton Water and headed east.

Earlier a Red Arrows display over the Solent had been cancelled, but the weather cleared in time to give passengers aboard the illuminated ships a good view of one of the Royal Navy’s newest ships.

Dragon’s commanding officer, Commander Darren Houston, said: “It was a great privilege to be up close to these vast liners for their historic sail past. The weather may not have been perfect but it was a fascinating spectacle.”

Between them the seven liners displace 569.871 tons, which is more than 70 times larger than HMS Dragon.

Ranging from the 30.000-ton Adonia to the giant 116.000-ton sisters Ventura and Azura, the cruise fleet took about 30 minutes to pass Dragon as hovercrafts, speedboats and yachts looked on.

Joining HMS Dragon in the middle of the Solent was the Trinity House ship Patricia.

 The tender is normally used for navigation maintenance work and wreck location but was transformed to a ceremonial vessel with Princess Anne onboard to observe the sail past.

Cdr Houston said: “After viewing the P&O fleet leave the Solent, we now shift our focus onto our preparation for operations.”

HMS Dragon has recently finished a maintenance period in Portsmouth Naval Base and is in training around UK waters, including the Outer Hebrides. Later in the year she will start her Operational Sea Training which is the major training cycle warships go through ahead of deployments.

HMS Dragon is the fourth of six Type 45 destroyers. HMS Daring is working east of the Suez Canal, HMS Dauntless is off the south west coast of Africa and HMS Diamond is on her way to operations in the Middle East. (MoD UK)

Categories: Politics, Tourism, International.

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  • Doveoverdover

    Two things spring to mind. Firstly, it's only a matter of time before HMS Dragon takes her turn in militarising the South Atlantic. Secondly, isn't it nice to see the Andrew maintaining links with the second line troop carriers?

    Jul 04th, 2012 - 07:17 pm 0
  • briton

    And this Dragon, spits fire,
    and eats indocrinated argies for breakfast .

    only the bad ones .lol

    Jul 04th, 2012 - 08:05 pm 0
  • Xect

    HMS Dragon the beautiful grey steely symbol of death.

    If you're the enemy you know you're about to have a very, very bad day if you see a Type 45 making its way in your direction.

    Jul 04th, 2012 - 08:44 pm 0
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