A PIONEERING woman has spoken of her delight at leading her warship to victory after her crew picked up a prestigious award.
As revealed in the Echo, Lieutenant Commander Catherine Jordan, of Easington Village, and the company of HMS Severn have scooped the force’s Offshore Patrol Vessels’ Efficiency Pennant and their squadron’s most coveted award, the Jersey Cup.
The former Wellfield School and Gordonstoun student today said: “It is a very rewarding to be recognised for the hard work of the team on board HMS Severn.
“We have had a very busy 2010 and I am very proud and privileged to be the commanding officer of such a highly professional and motivated team, and a very capable ship.”
The 36-year-old, is one of only two women commanding officers of an operational warship in the Royal Navy, and has been with HMS Severn for 14 months.
Lt Cdr Jordan has served in the Royal Navy for 17 years, starting out as a Lynx helicopter observer with the Fleet Air Arm.
She was later flight commander on board HMS St Albans and operations officer on HM Ships Iron Duke and Albion.
Her career in the senior service has taken her all around the globe, including most of Northern Europe, the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and South America.
The awards have been given in recognition of the vessel’s hard work carried out last year.
HMS Severn is part of the Fisheries Protection Squadron, and earned the titles after covering 40,135 nautical miles conducting 325 boardings of fishing vessels.
Their efforts resulted in 161 sailors given rebriefs, 12 official warnings issued and seven detentions made throughout the year.
Severn was also the winner of the Squadron Sports Day in January 2010, and members of the crew held events that raised more than £1,000 for nominated charities.
Lt Cdr Jordan and her ship also visited Newcastle as part of the crew’s duties last year.
The Fisheries Protection Squadron consists of three UK-based River Class Patrol Vessels and sister ship HMS Clyde, which has a different role as the Falkland Islands’ patrol vessel.
In addition to enforcing the UK and EU fishery legislation on behalf of the Marine Management Organisation, Severn also carries out maritime security and is on stand by to take on other tasks.