HMS Dauntless captain’s praise for Great Yarmouth

THE captain of HMS Dauntless bade a fond farewell to Great Yarmouth this week on his last visit to the town before leaving the ship to take up a new role within the Royal Navy.

Captain Richard Powell, commanding officer of the Type 45 destroyer, which is affiliated to Yarmouth, was presented with a plaque bearing the borough's coat of arms by Yarmouth mayor Michael Jeal at the Town Hall yesterday.

Mr Powell, who has relatives in nearby Wroxham, spoke of the warm friendship between the ship and the borough, cemented by the ship's visit to the outer harbour in October when thousands visited the hi-tech vessel and marvelled at its technical wizardry.

He gave assurances this relationship would continue during his whistlestop visit, when he was joined by six officers from the ship's company, two of whom are also leaving, as well as other borough councillors including the current leader Barry Coleman.

And he also spoke about the importance of the fundraising the ship's company did for Caister Lifeboat, which the crew visited prior to the presentation at the Town Hall.

'It was just instinctive. I thought I want to go back to East Anglia because I have got family up here.

'The links with East Anglia and the Caister Lifeboat are very important to us. It has just been a really unique experience for everyone here in Great Yarmouth.

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'Every time we come here it is just smiles and laughter and isn't that what life is all about? And I think we have established the foundations for a first class relationship,' Mr Powell said.

The trained Lynx helicopter pilot, who has served with the Navy for 30 years, will be leaving Dauntless for another Navy post in July, two years after joining the ship, following the completion of a training exercise in America.

But he did not know where his next post would be, only that it would be 'shore based.' He will be replaced by Capt Will Warrender.

Mr Jeal said: 'We are proud to be affiliated to HMS Dauntless and its crew and I am said to see you go.'

The Type 45 class is the largest and most powerful air defence destroyer ever operated by the Royal Navy.

Its main armament is the lethal Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS) capable of controlling several missiles in the air at once.

Weaponry includes a main gun for shore bombardment and helicopter-launched Stingray anti-submarine torpedoes.

HMS Dauntless, which has 190 crew, was the second destroyer of its class to enter service.

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