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Town strengthens links with Royal Navy vessel

Ramsey Commissioners and the local branch of the Royal Naval Association have co-hosted a reception for the commander and crew of the mine hunter named after the town.

The 600-tonne HMS Ramsey had been in Manx waters for five days, en route for a refit after a two and a half year tour of duty in the Arabian Gulf.

At the reception, commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Sarah West explained the current 37-strong ship's company had been at sea for seven months. She said she was delighted the visit would serve to reinvigorate the close links HMS Ramsey enjoyed with the people of the town that bore its name, and added she hoped HMS Ramsey would return next year, as 2010 will mark the tenth anniversary of when the ship was commissioned.

Chairman of the Ramsey board Sylvia Beattie said the commissioners and people of Ramsey were proud of their association with HMS Ramsey, and presented Lieutenant Commander West with gifts to mark the visit.

Among the ship's company was 19 year-old Able Seaman Kevin Gawne, from Waterloo Road, Ramsey, who has been in the Royal Navy for two years and was joined at the reception by his parents, David and Tracey Gawne.

Following the refit HMS Ramsey will serve on a NATO deployment in the Baltic and Mediterranean.

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