HMS Penzance returns home after three years in the Gulf

Royal Navy mine hunter HMS Penzance has returned to her home port of Faslane after spending three years in the Gulf.

Sailing the ship as it made its way up the Gareloch were Crew 1 from Faslane’s First Mine Counter Measures Squadron, who have served with the vessel for the past eight months.

A Sandown class Mine Counter Measures Vessel, during her time in the Middle East HMS Penzance has spent over 7,500 hours at sea and sailed more than 34,000 miles.

“The ship has performed everything asked of her during the deployment and I could not be more proud of my ship’s company,” said Commanding Officer of HMS Penzance, Lieutenant Commander Jim Lovell.

“A professional and versatile team, they have delivered everything I have asked of them but now it’s time for some very well earned leave.”

HMS Penzance left Faslane in June 2014 for service in the Gulf with Crew 1 joining the ship in January 2017- an especially long deployment for the crew of a mine hunter.

While the ships stay on deployment in the region for years at a time, the crews are rotated every six-months or so, flying out to join the vessels.

During their return home, family members and friends gathered at the Faslane dockside to provide an emotional welcome.

It was a particularly special occasion for one crew member – Petty Officer Mark Titman (34) from Sheffield.

As the ship berthed, banners on the deck proclaimed his love for his partner, 32-year-old Laura Campbell from Glasgow, who awaited his return.

First down the gangway, Mark got on one knee to propose to Laura who immediately accepted.

“My daughter, Ava, was born just prior to the deployment and was just four-weeks-old when I left,” said Mark.

“I am proud to be able to do my job and even more proud the way that my partner Laura has coped in bringing up our daughter. It leaves me in no doubt whatsoever that she is

the perfect women for me!”