All aboard Ipswich mine hunter ship

SAILORS were today inviting people on board their 650-tonne Royal Navy mine hunter ship for a guided tour.

SAILORS were today inviting people on board their 650-tonne Royal Navy mine hunter ship for a guided tour.

The HMS Brocklesby has docked at Ipswich's Orwell Quay for the weekend and will be welcoming members of the public, councillors and sea cadets on board, with guides explaining the role of the ship and its crew.

The 45 crew members arrived at the quay with the ship at 4pm yesterday.

One of the youngest members of the Royal Navy crew was James O'Dowd, 18, of Melford Way, in Felixstowe, who has been on the ship since May.

He said: “It's great to be here, I've really missed my mum!

“I'm really looking forward to going home for the weekend to see family and friends and catch up with people.”

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His mum, Vicky O'Dowd, also from Melford Way, said: “He's been all around Britain and he's just back for the weekend-it's really nice to be able to see him between trips.”

The ship and its crew, who helped to dispose of a Second World War German mine at Sizewell power station in March, principally deal with the detecting and disposing of dangerous mines in British seas.

The ship was due to be open from 10am until 4pm today and admission is free.

The tours will include information about navigation, fire fighting, flood reactions, diving, mine hunting and naval warfare.

The ship's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Matt Dennis, said: “It is a real privilege to be in Ipswich to represent the Royal Navy.”

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