A Royal Navy warship ‘HMS Mersey’ has escorted several Russian ships through the English Channel over the weekend.
The incident - described as "routine business" for the navy - is the fourth such incident in the past two months. “This is routine business for the Royal Navy, and HMS Mersey herself is well-versed in this role with this being the fourth such operation in the last two months,” the navy said in an official statement Tuesday.
The Portsmouth-based patrol vessel was tasked to locate, monitor and escort intelligence ship Vasily Tatishchev and the depot ship PM82.
A Russian tug and the frigate Severomorsk were also shadowed. The Severomorsk was later handed over to fellow Navy ship HMS Iron Duke to be escorted out of the UK area of interest.
Mersey is one of four River-class patrol ships, three of which conduct fishery protection, general patrols and other maritime security duties around the UK. A fourth, HMS Clyde, is permanently deployed to the Falkland Islands.
Earlier this year Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset shadowed a surfaced Russian submarine as it passed through the English Channel. The Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine Krasnodar passed through the Dover Strait in the first week of May.