Two Royal Navy vessels, Type 23 Frigate HMS Lancaster and fuel tanker RFA Gold Rover, arrived at St Helena this afternoon, Monday 12 October 2015 – preceded by a flyover by HMS Lancaster’s Wildcat helicopter over James’ Bay.
The Navy vessels are visiting the Island to take part in the bicentennial anniversary of Napoleon’s arrival to the Island in 1815. St Helena is looking forward to providing a warm welcome to the Royal Navy and a busy programme of events has been drawn up by the Governor’s Office.
Events planned include a call on the Governor by Commanders of both ships, a visit to the Hospital, various sporting activities and tree planting with the Millennium Forest Community Project. HMS Lancaster will host various activities on board including an invited evening reception and a capability demonstration. Crew members from both ships will participate in bicentennial activities, including attendance at a reception at Longwood House and at the Briars Pavilion.
In addition to these events, there will also be tours onboard HMS Lancaster for schoolchildren, the media and French visitors. Royal Navy teams will also be competing in golf, football and basketball events, playing against Island teams.
As part of the commemorations, ships’ personnel will parade at a ceremony at Napoleon’s Tomb on Thursday 15 October 2015 at 10am – when the Commanders of HMS Lancaster and RFA Gold Rover, accompanied by HE Governor Capes, French Ambassador Jean Mendelson and Prince d’Essling – will commemorate the funeral of Napoleon with the laying of wreaths at the Tomb.
HMS Lancaster’s advanced maritime attack Wildcat helicopter will fly a number of operations on Wednesday afternoon, including deployment over Napoleonic sites, and landings at Francis Plain and St Helena Airport. In this way, HMS Lancaster’s Wildcat helicopter will become the second aircraft ever to land at St Helena Airport.
While at St Helena, HMS Lancaster will also support the St Helena Sea Rescue team with First Aid and Sea Rescue training exercises. Personnel will also be attending St Luke’s Night at St James’ Church on Thursday evening.
At 11am on Friday, HMS Lancaster will conduct a special high speed steam past, across James’ Bay, to bid farewell to St Helena.
RFA Gold Rover will depart the Island on Thursday evening at around 7pm, followed by HMS Lancaster on Friday, 16 October 2015.
12 October 2015