HMS PROTECTOR OCTOBER VISIT TO ST HELENA
By J Brock (FINN)
The HMS Protector is back in St Helena’s waters continuing her survey work after her visit to Ascension Island.
The ship was at the anchorage from 14 – 20 October for the second crew change which coincides with the arrival of the Titan flight on 18 October. During this time, Ship’s Company will have some shore leave before the new Watch boards on 20 October, after which time there will be no further physical interaction with the ship.
Following the crew change, the HMS Protector will remain in St Helena’s waters for a further three days to complete survey work before setting sail on her south-bound journey.
Leading up to 14 October, HMS Protector will land small groups of people at intervals to complete survey work at the pier, carry out various community projects which includes tiling of the Pilling Playground area and conduct career and research talks at Prince Andrew School.
The public is assured that all COVID-19 protocols are being followed with the requirement for all personnel on board the vessel to provide negative COVID tests before anyone is allowed ashore. All personnel will have completed more than the compulsory 10- day quarantine period at sea by the time of their arrival and were also PCR tested at Ascension before going ashore there.
The incoming Watch from the UK quarantined at the Mantis Hotel and some senior personnel at private accommodation, before being transported to the ship on 20 October. As with all new air arrivals they will be required to provide a negative COVID PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure from the UK and will be tested on arrival.
During her time at the anchorage between 16 and 19 October, the HMS Protector will host pre-arranged tours of the ship for organised groups and schools. The ship will also be assisting the Sea Rescue team with some training. A naval commemoration ceremony on-Island is also being planned.
HMS Protector is offering tours to the public on Sunday, 17 October. There are limited places available and should interest be high, a selection process will be undertaken where names will be drawn from the hat. If you have been selected, you will be contacted shortly afterwards and advised of departure times from the wharf. Please note passenger boats will leave the wharf promptly. If you are not contacted, please assume you have not been selected.