Diving deep: on-board HMS Cattistock

Ministry of Defence
Feb 7 · 3 min read

The Royal Navy minehunter, HMS Cattistock protects our waters from hidden dangers. But it’s her crew who dive deep.

The small but effective Mine Counter Measure Vessel (AKA a minehunter) has glass-reinforced plastic hulls to conceal their presence from the threat of sea-mines.

The ship and her crew clear the way of mines to allow safe passage for larger forces, swiftly detecting and destroying any hidden dangers.

HMS Cattistock recently deployed to Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea as part of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group 1 (SNMCMG1).

Meet some of her crew 👇

Mine Clearance Diver Sam Alexander

“I am a Mine Clearance Diver, I’m required to dive on contacts that we suspect may be mines, identify them and if necessary carry out detonation.”

“This deployment is particularly interesting as we know there is historical ordnance in the area, it would be great to put my training to the test.”

Gunnery Officer Elliot Woodhead

“I’m the Gunnery Officer in HMS MIDDLETON (MCM2 Crew 8), I’m in the Baltic with HMS Cattistock to become platform endorsed before my unit heads back to sea.”

“I joined Cattistock midway through her NATO deployment in Turku, Finland. It was nice to see that the crew were already embedded into the Task group and it was clear to see there was a good atmosphere between our crew and other NATO units so I was keen to hit the ground running.”

Mine Clearance Diver and COXN James Shell

“The big challenge is the weather at times, that can be a show stopper when it comes to being out in the sea boat. We have to take into account the weather and we have no control over that ourselves.”

“I’ve been caught off guard with how busy it is in this area, it really hits home how much was laid in wartime and how important these positions were to certain countries during their war efforts and now we’re still dealing with it in UK waters and out here in the Baltic.”

Mine Clearance Diver Ashley Lishman

“On a personal level, it has been putting my job as a Leading Diver into practice and applying what I’ve been trained to do. It is also good to be visiting different places and working with different units as this is what I joined up to do. Also working with live ordnance is our bread and butter.”

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 Armed Forces around the globe.

Ministry of Defence

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DefenceHQ is the official corporate news channel of the UK Ministry of Defence.

Voices Of The Armed Forces

Stories from the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the UK Armed Forces around the globe.

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