SAILORS on board Sunderland’s adopted warship enjoyed an exclusive movie screening in honour of their security role during London 2012.
HMS Ocean, which is moored near Greenwich, in East London, has operated as a “maritime logistics hub” during the Olympic Games, supporting hundreds of sailors, soldiers, airmen and Royal Marines.
To thank them for their hard work during the historic event, entertainment firm Blockbuster offered 250 crew members on board the Royal Navy’s largest ship the opportunity to be among the first to see a DvD of the new action film Battleship, starring Rihanna and Liam Neeson.
James Wilcox, Blockbuster’s head of movies, said: “As we have the rental rights to Battleship before anyone else, we felt that it was only right that we celebrate this mega-film on the Royal Navy’s biggest battleship and thank all the crew for their involvement in making the Games such a successful and safe event.”
HMS Ocean, whose officers and ratings were granted Honorary Freedom of the City of Sunderland in 2004, spent four days 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.
Commander Jon Asbridge, the logistics officer on HMS Ocean, said: “The ship is in London for some nine weeks helping to provide security to the Olympics and Paralympics and accommodation for military personnel working at Greenwich Park.
“With around 1,000 sailors, marines, soldiers and airmen living onboard, this is a fantastic opportunity for them to get some downtime for an exclusive showing of Battleship in such an appropriate venue as the aircraft hangar of the Royal Navy’s largest warship.
“On behalf of them all, I must thank Blockbuster for their generosity in putting this event on for us.”
HMS Ocean, which also took part in a NATO mission off the coast of Libya last year, is expected to leave London after the Paralympics.