For the first time in over 50 years, a Royal Navy warship has visited the East African archipelago of Zanzibar.
Currently deployed to the region, the Portsmouth based frigate stopped off to collect stores after a length period at sea carrying out maritime security operations in the Indian Ocean.
It was a proud moment for the ship’s company with the Second Vice President of Zanzibar, Seif Ali Iddi visiting the vessel for lunch and a tour.
Commander Mark Anderson Royal Navy, the ship’s Commanding Officer, said:
“It’s a real privilege to be the first Royal Navy ship to visit Zanzibar in a generation; this visit will strengthen ties with an important regional partner in the fight against maritime crime.”
With the Tanzanian Navy and also ships from France and Australia, Richmond is working in the Indian Ocean as part of the Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Force 150, their mission is to promote maritime security and cut down on terrorist activity and other illegal activities.
Warrant Officer 2 George Boardman said: “Thirty eight years in the Royal Navy and this is the first time I’ve stopped in Zanzibar, so it has been a new destination to add to the list.”
As well as getting vital supplies, and strengthening ties with the Tanzanian Navy, personnel from the ship have volunteered to restore Commonwealth war graves on Zanzibar’s ‘Grave Island’.
The island is the resting place for 24 Royal Navy sailors who died in the Battle of Zanzibar, fought between Germany and Britain during the First World War.
Engineering Technician Daniel Charlton spent a day restoring war graves.
He said: “This has been a great experience; it’s an honour to help restore the graves of those who gave their lives in the Service of our country.”