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Navy divers visit Qatari coastguard
24 March 2015

MEMBERS of the Qatari coastguard toured HMS Penzance during the ship’s three-day visit to Doha.

The crew of the Sandown class mine counter measures vessel welcomed aboard members of the coastguard boat Mahzam.

In return, six members of Penzance’s crew visited the Mazham, which is predominantly used for diving and boarding operations.

The UK Sailors were hosted by the Commanding Officer, 1st Lieutenant Abdulaziz Ahmed Al-Thani, who had trained at Britannia Royal Naval College and at HMS Collingwood.

 After a tour focussing on the Mahzam’s underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) capability and diving procedure, both crews enjoyed an informal chat over a cup of tea.

AB(D) Matthew Kilminster said: “As a diver it was really interesting to see how a different country conducts diving operations. We got on really well with their crew and it was interesting to hear some of their diving stories”.

HMS Penzance’s Commanding Officer Lt Cdr Jim Blythe said: “This has been a fantastic day for both the ship and the Royal Navy. It is an honour to be able to host visitors from other nations and show them how we do business.

 “The Qatari guests were very interested in our Sea Fox capability (an underwater surveillance vehicle used for mine hunting and target identification) and especially our dive kit, where we are very much at the forefront of these areas.

“The Royal Navy is dedicated to promoting worldwide stability by working with friends and deterring threats by reassuring regional powers and today we showed them what a valuable role the Royal Navy can provide in the region.”

HMS Penzance is currently maritime surveying in the Gulf.