A CARLISLE man is enjoying his first sea draft as a Royal Navy chef in the fleet’s helicopter carrier HMS Ocean.
Logistician Harry Richardson is part of the team keeping the Royal Navy’s in-service amphibious warship delivering security at sea.
Harry grew up in Morton and originally joined the Royal Navy in 2010, but gave it up to work back at home. He said: ‘It was good fun and good money, but after a year and a half I missed the travel and life of the Navy.’’
He rejoined the Royal Navy in 2013, trained as a chef at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall before joining HMS Ocean this year 2014.
After the ship’s long period in refit, during which Harry helped prepare the galley (ship’s kitchen) for sea, he has just returned from an intensive period of post-refit sea trials and training.
The newly-regenerated ship is due to sail later this year on exercises and operations.
Harry said: “Being alongside was dull, but now we’re at sea life is a lot better. There’s good and bad in every job, but I love mess social life and it’s a good crack working in a warship. My grandfather was in the Navy and so was my uncle and cousin, so is my brother. I’m living the life I am supposed to be living.’’ He enjoys the travel and being away from home and is looking forward to his first foreign trip ashore. Nevertheless, he is also looking forward to getting home to Carlisle and catching up with his family.
HMS Ocean is the Royal Navy’s largest warship and designed to deliver troops to the centre of the action by helicopter or by landing craft. Aviation capabilities include six helicopter operating spots on her flight deck with space in the hangar to hold, transport and maintain many more aircraft. Ocean’s compliment Ship’s Company of 380 personnel includes 9 Assault Squadron Royal Marines, who operate the four landing craft and land combat troops ashore for HMS Ocean. The 21,500-tonne ship has a top speed in excess of 16 knots and a range of 8,000 miles.