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Dutch navy arrives for visit to Ipswich with patrol ship Groningen

PUBLISHED: 15:58 25 January 2019

The Dutch Navy vessel Groningen sails up the River Orwell. Picture: ANDREW DOTCHIN

The Dutch Navy vessel Groningen sails up the River Orwell. Picture: ANDREW DOTCHIN

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The Dutch naval ship HNLMS Groningen is visiting Ipswich on a goodwill visit while on operations in the North Sea.

The offshore patrol vessel has seen service in the Caribbean working with the US Coastguard and other NATO countries to try to combat drug smuggling.

And it has also been deployed to the Indian Ocean off Somalia in a bid to deter pirates who prey on merchant ships in the region.

The Groningen, which has a crew of up to 54, sailed up the River Orwell and under the bridge to the port of Ipswich on Friday lunchtime.

During its stay in the town, officers have been invited to meet Mayor Jane Riley at Ipswich town hall – and are hosting a cocktail party on board the vessel to meet other civic leaders.

Ipswich is a regular stop for vessels operating in the North Sea – there are regular goodwill visits to the town from the Dutch Navy nearly 350 years since the nations clashed in the Battle of Sole Bay off Southwold in 1672.

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