HMS PORTLAND turns at high speed as ARCADIA steams on
HMS PORTLAND meets P&O liner in Gulf
Passengers on ARCADIA reassured by warship presence...
Currently operating in the Gulf of Aden (GOA) and Horn of Africa (HOA) as part of the Coalition Task Force charged with combating piracy, HMS Portland spent some time in company with the gigantean P&O cruise liner ‘Arcadia’ as she was passing through the areas on route to India. The Type 23 frigate provided a reassuring sight for the 2000 plus passengers, some of whom gathered on the upperdeck and balconies to see the ship and her Lynx helicopter in close company.
The 2 ships followed a longstanding maritime tradition with Arcadia ‘dipping’ her ensign and Portland returning the mark of respect. The Arcadia’s Master, Commodore Steve Burgoine, who is also the Commodore of the P&O Cruises Fleet, passed on his thanks and those of the passengers and crew of Arcadia for HMS Portland’s presence in these difficult waters.
The Royal Navy is actively countering piracy off the Horn of Africa as well as coming to the aid of those under attack, and HMS Portland is in the region to conduct Maritime Security Operations including counter piracy missions when required as part of her tasking. Portland is well placed to deal with this mission and has been on patrol in the region since the beginning of December 2008.
The Commanding Officer, Commander Tim Henry, said ‘It is important that maritime trade is able to travel freely on the high seas without let or hindrance. It was a pleasure to spend some time in company with ‘Arcadia’ today and to be able to demonstrate to the passengers and crew the Royal Navy’s commitment to keeping the sea lanes open. I wish Commodore Burgoine, his passengers and crew a safe and enjoyable voyage’.