By SOPHIE TAYLOR
SAILORS enjoyed charity work, shark fishing and a spot of golf as part of a flying visit to Africa.
Plymouth based warship HMS Argyll recently paid a visit to Walvis Bay, in Namibia, to enhance relations with the Namibian Navy and to support British¬†business¬†interests.
HMS Argyll’s port stop was the first to the country by a Royal Navy¬†ship¬†for eight years and was said to be a great success.
With the visit only lasting two days the busy programme included charity work, football and golf fixtures, shark fishing and a formal reception, as well as the multitude of calls the Commanding Officer paid to local military and civil dignitaries during the visit.
Commander Tim Neild, the Commanding Officer of HMS Argyll, said: “The opportunity to work alongside our Namibian partners gives us a chance to meet one another face to face and share our unique experiences whilst demonstrating our breadth of capability.
“In doing so it builds mutual understanding and garners support in ensuring that maritime security is assured in the region.”
Once alongside, a team of 10 willing volunteers completed an afternoon’s work at a local animal sanctuary, painting and restoring one of its buildings, as part of an outreach programme.
Engineering¬†Technician Dominic Mitchell said: “It was great to be able to help make a difference to the lives of the poor animals.
“Some of the animals were in a very bad way but hopefully the work we have done will make them feel more comfortable before they are re-homed.”
The Namibian coastline also provided a once in a lifetime opportunity for a number of crew members to go shark fishing from one of the local beaches, with six of the 10 fishermen catching sharks ranging from 50-70kgs.