Dutch Navy ship stops off in Ipswich after clearing mines in North Sea

The HNLMS Willemstad has docked on Ipswich Waterfront

The HNLMS Willemstad has docked on Ipswich Waterfront - Credit: Timothy Bradford

A 52-metre Dutch naval ship has docked on Ipswich Waterfront after completing a minesweeping mission in the North Sea. 

The HNLMS Willemstad is currently moored up near the University of Suffolk, alongside a UK Border Force vessel named the Vigilant. 

The 40m HMCC Vigilant is also currently docked in Ipswich  

The 42m HMCC Vigilant is also currently docked in Ipswich - Credit: Timothy Bradford

A member of the crew said the ship docked at about 5pm on Thursday as is staying in Ipswich while workers take a break.

He said: "Last week, we have been clearing mines from the ocean off the Netherlands. 

"There are a lot of bombs left over by the British from the Second World War. There are aeroplane bombs and contact mines from the Germans as well.

"There's enough work to last us another 50 years."

Crew on the HNLMS Willemstad have stopped in Ipswich for a bit of much needed relaxation

The crew are looking forward to a bit of much-needed relaxation - Credit: Timothy Bradford

The crewman added: "There are six vessels in the fleet and 40 of us on this ship. We're planning on staying till Monday."

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One bystander, a former Navy man, said: "It's amazing a vessel like that can get through the lock gates.

"I've been through a few times on pleasure trips, nothing compared to a vessel of that size, and it was pretty tight."