October 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, August 14, 2014
While visitors to the Ipswich Maritime Festival are focussed on having fun, one exhibit is bringing a serious message to the event.
The UK Border Force Cutter HMC Valiant is moored at Orwell Quay to demonstrate the work of the force in keeping British coastlines safe.
The Valiant is one of eight cutters operated by the Border Force and works in British territorial waters to ensure that vessels do not smuggle illegal goods or people into the country.
It is due to be at Ipswich until tomorrow where its crew will be explaining its work to members of the public and – especially – to leisure sailors who have vessels at one of the marinas in the area.
Tom and Graham – they did not want to give their full names – from the Border Force said they were keen to raise the profile of the service.
Tom said: “Most leisure sailors will not have encountered us directly but we hope they know that we’re about. We will be spreading the word over the next couple of days.”
As well as their impressive vessel being moored in the heart of the festival area, they are also due to give demonstrations in the Wet Dock with their rigid inflatable boat.
The Valiant has a crew of 12 and operates around the UK coastline – it does not have a “home port” – and despite appearances has nothing to do with the Royal Navy.
Therefore it is designated Her Majesty’s Cutter (HMC) rather than HMS.