SUNDERLAND’S adopted warship has been given the Royal seal of approval as she approaches the end of her security role at London 2012.
HMS Ocean, berthed at Greenwich, in East London, played host to His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent who met sailors, soldiers, airmen and Royal Marines deployed in support of the Olympic Games operation.
The Prince spent his time onboard meeting personnel, touring the ship, and learning about what HMS Ocean has achieved both during her tasking as a maritime logistic hub, and also during the NATO mission off the coast of Libya last year.
Two Royal Navy sailors also had their hard work and dedication recognised when they were presented with their Long Service and Good Conduct medals – used to mark 15 years’ loyal service.
The Prince, who is the Honorary Rear Admiral of the Maritime Reserve, also took the opportunity to meet Naval Reservists mobilised to serve on board HMS Ocean during the Olympic period.
Captain Andrew Betton, HMS Ocean’s Commanding Officer, said: “It’s always an honour to have a member of the Royal Family on board, and Prince Michael couldn’t have picked a better time to come and see the versatility of HMS Ocean.
“Providing security support to the police during the Olympics is a Tri-Service task, and His Royal Highness got to see first hand the sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines working together to provide a safe and secure Games for London, as well as giving out two very well-deserved medals.”
HMS Ocean, whose officers and ratings were granted Honorary Freedom of the City of Sunderland in 2004, spent four day in the city earlier this year, before heading south for her Olympic security stint.
During her seventh stay, the vessel was opened up to the public and more than 200 crew members paraded through the city centre.
HMS Ocean is expected to leave London after the Paralympics.