Press release from British High Commission.
Each year, the United Kingdom deploys at least one Royal Navy ship to the Caribbean region to offer support if needed during the hurricane season. This year, HMS Protector, an artic explorer was sent as its replacement.
HMS Protector is the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship. Often seen in the frozen seas around Antarctica, she is currently in the Caribbean conducting important survey work during the austral winter. In addition, her crew and embarked Army Commando Engineers are on constant standby, ready to support the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office with Humanitarian Aid and/or Disaster Relief during the annual Core Hurricane Season.
Captain Maryla Ingham is HMS Protector’s Commanding Officer. In April 2022, she became the Royal Navy’s first female Captain to command an operational warship. A busy year will see Capt Ingham’screw transit from the length of the Americas, up to Canada and back, before she leads them into the icy expanse of Antarctica. Despite a successful career with appointments both at home and abroad, this is her first visit to the Caribbean region.
On Monday 22 August, Captain Ingham paid a courtesy on the Prime Minister along with Senator Keisal Peters, member of the police force and coast guard along with personnel from NEMO. Other activities while the ship is docked included a cocktail reception, a football match against the Coast Guard and trip to the Windward side of the island, stopping at a Vincentian crew member’s home village.
With the Navy’s commitment to satisfying the local interest of Vincentians to be recruited in the Navy, a capabilities tour is slated for potential recruits for the Navy who have already been accepted.
Captain Ingham also said, “HMS Protector is delighted to be alongside here in St. Vincent, despite our arrival coinciding with some particularly British weather! Nevertheless, I’m most grateful to the High Commission and the island for hosting us over the next few days. My ship and its crew are looking forward to some well-earned time exploring ashore before getting back to our important work.”