Emerging out of the morning mist off Penarth sea-front today was the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond – heading for Cardiff Docks.
Launched in 1993, Richmond was the last warship to be built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders.
She was the first British naval vessel in 100 years to visit Russian port of Vladivostok and also escorted the Royal Yacht Britannia on her final voyage before decommissioning.
Last month Richmond was busy “man-marking” the Russian Navy as its fleet – including their flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov – passed through the English Channel en route to the Eastern Mediterranean to support the Russian campaign in Syria.
The Russians however presented no difficulties for Richmond – other than a possible health and safety hazard from the voluminous black smoke being emitted from the Russian aircraft carrier’s funnel.
In time-honoured tradition, members of Richmond’s crew lined up on the deck fore and aft – symbolically indicating that the big warship has no hostile intent as she enters port.
The crew will be out on the streets of Cardiff tomorrow selling poppies for the British Legion appeal.The ship will be open to the public over the weekend – but exact times have not been confirmed .
Today as is now standard practice with all visits by navy ships – an anti-terrorist police RIB with armed officers aboard escorted HMS Richmond into port