HMS Spey (P234), the last of the Royal Navy’s five offshore patrol vessels which replaced the old River class vessels, sailed into Auckland on the morning of 10 May 2023 for a ten-day stop-over.
Spey is currently in the middle of a five-year deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.
During her stint in the Pacific she has so far delivered cyclone aid (three 10-tonne water tanks plus other essentials) to the island of Tanna in the Republic of Vanuatu.
Tanna is famed for being the island where tribes in the south have for years regarded the late Prince Phillip as a god. Now it’s King Charles’ turn.
Another vessel of this class, HMS Tamar (P233), was recently alongside at Fleet Base West in Fremantle, Australia. She is currently deployed in the Indian Ocean.
The two vessels have and will be working with Britain’s allies, dealing with drug smugglers, terrorists and other illegal activity.
They will also take part in exercises with navies and armed forces from other nations.
Photo and report by Trevor Coppock