See Inside Navy Ship Moored On The Thames

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 37 months ago
See Inside Navy Ship Moored On The Thames
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The view across the loading deck to Tower Bridge
The view across the loading deck to Tower Bridge
The ship has two engines, and a top speed of 20 knots.
The ship has two engines, and a top speed of 20 knots.
A former civilian ship which has been adapted for the Navy, it has more comfortable cabins than many Navy vessels, including these two-berth cabins.
A former civilian ship which has been adapted for the Navy, it has more comfortable cabins than many Navy vessels, including these two-berth cabins.
The bridge -- from where the whole ship can be run.
The bridge -- from where the whole ship can be run.
HMS Mersey is currently moored alongside HMS Belfast.
HMS Mersey is currently moored alongside HMS Belfast.
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The on-board navigation system uses a combination of GPS and scanned paper charts. The familiar view of the Thames here, showing where the ship is moored.
The on-board navigation system uses a combination of GPS and scanned paper charts. The familiar view of the Thames here, showing where the ship is moored.

Keen-eyed people walking past HMS Belfast recently will have noticed that there's not just one ship moored up, but two. Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel HMS Mersey is alongside the renowned London tourist hotspot to make a crew change.

However, unlike its historical counterpart, HMS Mersey is not open to visitors. Londonist got special permission to go aboard the ship, which patrols the English coastline 300-days-a-year acting as a deterrent and ensures fishing vessels stick to internationally-agreed quotas. You can see what it looks like inside, via the gallery above.

The ship is in the Thames until 7 October, when it will be pushed out backwards by tug boats, past Tower Bridge — which will be raised to get it through — before turning around and making the six-hour trip back to sea.

As it only comes to London about once a year, the visit means the crew has chance to indulge in some sightseeing, as well as allowing their families to come aboard — not normally permitted when it docks in Portsmouth, for security reasons.

Last Updated 06 October 2014

Brychan James Govier

Quick correction, she patrols BRITISH waters, not just those off the English coast.

James Guppy

Seems to have a distinct lack of firepower...