TWO crew members who have spent the last few months on the high seas with a naval support ship have been telling of their experiences.
Petty Officer Steward Debbie Hamilton and Leading Hand Steward Liam Tomlin, both from Weymouth, have been serving on Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) fleet replenishment tanker Wave Knight.
The ship has arrived back at Portland after a 15-month deployment to the Caribbean supporting the Royal Navy.
The past year has been an adventure for the crew who supported operations with authorities to catch suspected drug runners and delivered humanitarian aid to hurricane-affected areas.
The ship has covered more than 54,000 miles calling in at 21 different ports.
Grandmother Mrs Hamilton, 54, of Wyke Regis, said: “We did a reception in Grenada and met all the local delegates plus some ex-pats. It’s good to let them know who we are, what we are doing there and that we are there for them.”
She added: “In my job, you are a point of contact to everyone on the ship, which means you have to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can be very stressful, especially on arrivals day, but I would recommend it to everyone. You get to see the world and get paid for it too.”
Mr Tomlin, 36, of Dorchester Road, joined the ship after flying out to America.
During his time on board, they worked with the Law Enforcement Department of the US Coast Guard, intercepting boats that were smuggling drugs into the USA.
Mr Tomlin said: “I have been in the RFA for seven years now and it is a very rewarding job. I spend four months away from home but then I get to come back to Weymouth for a decent amount of time.
“My personal highlight was between catching the first drug smuggler, who was trying to smuggle large amounts of marijuana and cocaine into the USA, and visiting Grenada because that was brilliant.”