Nuclear powered submarine to visit Portland

Dorset Echo: HMS Torbay HMS Torbay

A NUCLEAR-powered submarine will sail into Portland next week for a six-day visit.

Schoolchildren, sea cadets and potential Royal Navy recruits from the Armed Forces Careers Office are set to visit HMS Torbay.

The hunter killer submarine is set to arrive on Tuesday (8) when the ship's company will have an opportunity for some well earned rest and recuperation.

It comes after Portland Port was home to a nuclear training exercise to test how the authorities would react in the case of an emergency.

Police, fire and naval officers took part in the project, known as Shortbill with emergency planning officers from Dorset County Council to run through procedures that are in place to cope with a radiation leak.

HMS Torbay will berth in Portland Port at noon and will host a reception on Wednesday evening for invited guests.

The local submariner community will host members of the ship's company on Thursday evening at the Royal Dorset Yacht Club in Weymouth.

HMS Torbay will also host a large number of organised tours for various groups of people from the local community whilst in Portland.

These include pupils from Blandford School, Sir John Colfox School, Thomas Hardye School and the Dorset police.

A number of Sea Cadets from Bridgewater, Bridport, Axbridge, Taunton, Poole and Yeovil have also been invited on board during the visit.

In addition, the Armed Forces Careers Office is coordinating a number of scheduled visits to the submarine each day for potential officer and rating recruits.

Commanding Officer Commander Andy Johns said: “I am really looking forward to our forthcoming visit to Portland as it will give HMS Torbay's Ship Company the opportunity to reinvigorate ties with the town of Portland and surrounding areas.

“During the visit, we will be welcoming groups of local schoolchildren and potential recruits onboard to experience firsthand what modern day life is like on a nuclear submarine and we will be able to share our own experiences with them following a busy period of generating HMS Torbay for operations.

“We are also happy to have the opportunity to host a variety of distinguished guests onboard throughout the week and further develop the Royal Navy's ties with the region.

“The visit is also a welcome opportunity for the crew to take some shore leave and enjoy the many attractions that the surrounding area offers.”

The submarine has recently returned from playing a key part in Exercise Deep Blue, a joint United Kingdom/French anti submarine warfare exercise undertaken in the North Atlantic commanded by a task group headed by HMS Illustrious.

HMS Torbay is entering her 25th year of service and can hear vessels over 50 miles away.

She is fitted with a nuclear reactor which enables prolonged periods of dived operations.

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