A stunning lights display envelops HMS Lancaster.

🌊 Admiring the Northern Lights on an Arctic patrol

During a two-week solo patrol to the Arctic, Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster was lucky enough to witness the breathtaking lights display onboard

Ministry of Defence
Sep 27 · 3 min read

📸 Take a minute, sit back and relax…

That was the case for Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster, whose crew were lucky enough to witness the stunning Northern Lights display onboard as they carried out solo patrols in the Arctic.

This was the second time that HMS Lancaster has headed out to the Arctic this year, however this was the first time that she has been on her own.

The Portsmouth-based warship went it alone on a 3,000-mile round-trip through the Norwegian Sea and into the Arctic Circle, the latest Royal Navy vessel to head to the High North over the past few years.

👀 Picturesque enough for you?👇

HMS Lancaster takes in the stunning lights display in the Arctic.
HMS Lancaster takes in the stunning lights display in the Arctic.

As a ‘lone rider’, the ship had to rely on herself for all eventualities:

  • Food
  • Fuel
  • Emergencies
  • And everything in between.

With temperatures in the Arctic barely reaching double figures even in late summer, hypothermia sets in within minutes if anyone goes overboard.

Practising emergency situations is vital for training up new sailors during their first time at sea and to refresh the skills of those with more than their fair share of experience.

The sun glares onto the sea as HMS Lancaster sails.
A crisp morning onboard HMS Lancaster.

That included dealing with mock fires and evacuating a casualty by helicopter to hone the skills of both the sickbay team and the crew of the Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron.

The Wildcat forms an essential part of HMS Lancaster’s front-line missions, using its array of sensors to scour miles of ocean for surface contacts. It’s also the first port of call to get a casualty off the ship quickly and to hospital ashore.

HMS Lancaster’s Wildcat helicopter conducts night flying drills.
Waves crash over HMS Lancaster’s bow as she transits along Norway’s coastline.
Waves crash over HMS Lancaster’s bow as she transits along Norway’s coastline.

During their patrolling and exercising, the crew onboard HMS Lancaster were lucky enough to witness the stunning Northern Lights display.

“I’ve always wanted to see the Northern Lights during my career and they sure didn’t disappoint, what a display!”

— Assistant Weapon Engineer Officer, Sub-Lieutenant Perry.

🚢 Before you go, let’s take in the display one last time…

Northern Lights display onboard HMS Lancaster.
Northern Lights display onboard HMS Lancaster.
Stunning, right?

Find out more about the work of the Armed Forces on operations around the globe in our podcast, Fancy a Brew?👇

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Find out where else the UK Armed Forces are deployed here👇

Voices Of The Armed Forces

Stories from the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the UK…