HMS Dauntless arrives at Yarmouth

EXCITED onlookers gathered close to Great Yarmouth's outer harbour this morning to witness the arrival of one of the Royal Navy's most advanced warships.

The outline of type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless, with its tall antenna could clearly be seen etched on the horizon out to sea off South Beach Parade at 9.40am as it sailed with two tugs towards its berthing place at the outer harbour at a speed of 13 knots.

Within 10 minutes the new vessel, boasting 190 crew members, had passed through the harbour mouth where the tug boats helped it to turn slightly to maneouvre into position to moor.

The successful arrival marks the start of an affiliation between the town and the ship, which boasts the state of the art sea Viper missile system and can not be picked up by radar.

Onlooker Roger Silver, 49, of Century Road, Yarmouth was passing by on his motorbike when he saw the ship coming in and stopped to have a look.

He said: 'Yarmouth has always been associated with the Royal Navy so it is nice to have a ship affiliated to the town.'

A series of events are going to be held this weekend to mark the historic connection, starting with a football match between Dauntless crew members and a Gorleston FC XI.

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Money from the match will go to the Save the Children charity, while cash is also being raised for the Help for Heroes charity over the weekend.

On the Sunday large crowds are also expected to cheer on the HMS Dauntless crew as they parade in full uniform from the town hall at 10.45am to St Nicholas Church for a public service.

On the same day, free tours of HMS Dauntless will take place between 9.30am and 4.30pm on a first come first served basis.

The only way to get on a tour is to take a free shuttle bus operated by the borough council from the Pleasure Beach to the Outer Harbour.

Searches will be carried out. Tours are not suitable for disabled people due to the design of the ship.