The Port of Blyth has welcomed HMS Blyth, the Royal Navy minesweeper named after the town, to the river for the final time. After 18 years of service and 76,000 miles covered, the Sandown class vessel is to be decommissioned.
HMS Blyth is the second Royal Navy ship to bear the name. The previous Blyth was a Bangor-class minesweeper that was launched in 1940 and served in the Second World War.
On the vessel’s final visit, Port of Blyth Harbour Master Ed Dick, said: “It was an honour to host the HMS Blyth for a final time and excellent to see so many people from the local community come out to welcome her. The Royal Navy has a rich history in Blyth prior, during and since the two World Wars and despite the vessel’s decommissioning we hope this association will continue.”
The vessel’s Commanding Officer, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people coming to see us over the last few days and engage with my ship’s company, and it was a privilege for me to bring HMS Blyth to Blyth for the final time. I am immensely proud of my team here and what they have achieved for the Royal Navy and the country over the past year of my Command and I am sure you and the town are too. It has therefore been a visit of mixed emotions for us, pride in so much achieved, but sadness that we come to the end of a chapter.”
Stationed at Clyde Naval Base in Faslane, Scotland, HMS Blyth is one of the Royal Navy’s seven Sandown-class Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMV).