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Visitor Attractions: Navy’s Smallest Vessel on View at Navy Days 2010!


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The Royal Navy’s smallest vessel has joined the growing list of ships lining up for Navy Days at Portsmouth Naval Base and Historic Dockyard this summer. 

Visitors can get a close-up look at inshore survey craft HMS Gleaner, which measures just 14.8m and has a crew of five, at the three day-event from July 30th.

The vessel, based at Devonport Naval Base, Plymouth, entered service in 1983 and is used to collect data from the shallowest inshore waters. She has carried out surveys around the entire UK coastline and has also visited various European ports. She uses advanced sonar techniques to compile detailed pictures of the seabed.

Portsmouth-based minehunter HMS Cattistock and fishery protection vessel HMS Tyne have also confirmed their attendance.

They will be joined by the new formidable Type 45 destroyers HMS Daring and Dauntless, Type 23 frigates HMS Richmond and Westminster and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Argus – an aviation training and casualty reception ship.

Deputy Naval Base Commander, Captain Paul Lemkes, said: “HMS Gleaner is a welcome addition to the attractions at this year’s Navy Days. Although only small, she has a specialist role and capability and I’m sure she will create a lot of interest. The line-up of ships will give visitors a true feel of the wide variety of tasks carried out by today’s Royal Navy.” 

The event will also boast a lively and colourful line-up of arena displays including a field gun competition, the White Helmets Motorcycle Display team and Royal Marines Band. 

Navy Days 2010 promises to be one of the most popular events on the South Coast this summer, featuring serving warships of the Royal Navy, ships of foreign navies, thrilling naval displays, historical re-enactments and the world-class attractions of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, including HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860. 

For the adventurous and active visitor there is the chance to see if they have the skills to join the senior service on challenging displays, simulators and climbing tower in Action Stations. Whilst there, they can also see Carrier Strike, an interactive exhibition detailing the aircraft carriers of the future.        

Robert Bruce
, Managing Director of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, added: “Navy Days 2010 will be a brilliant event for all ages, showcasing the Navy’s present and future capabilities including its people and, especially at Portsmouth, its heritage too. There’s nowhere else in the country that you can see this great mix ashore, afloat and in the air and we’re expecting it to be the highlight of this summer on the south coast."
Further information, including ticket details, is available from the Navy Days website – or by calling 023 9283 9766.

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