Sailors fly the flag for Paralympic athletes
TWO young sailors raised the Paralympic flag aboard HMS Bulwark to pay tribute to the determination of the sailing athletes.
Leading Seaman Stefan Morgan, aged 23, and Able Seaman Alex Oaks, aged 21, undertook the honour on Monday as Paralympic sailors began competing on the waters of Portland harbour.
Devonport-based HMS Bulwark is berthed alongside in Portland harbour with a grandstand position from which to view the competitors.
The ship, dressed with ceremonial as if for a regatta, remains fully operational between the decks as a busy HQ providing maritime security.
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AB Oaks, who is from Plymouth, has been in the Navy for four years. He said: "It's good to be here in Dorset for the Paralympics – my wife Charlotte gave birth to our new baby daughter Daisy-Mae just before the Olympics started so I was at home on leave and have only just rejoined my ship in the past week as we sailed for Portland.
"We are really enjoying the opportunity to be able to follow the progress of the sailors from this great viewpoint while maintaining a good lookout for the officer of the watch. Weymouth has provided a great place to visit when we have time off duty ashore."
Leading Seaman Stefan Morgan, who joined the Navy eight years ago, added: "This security operation has been rather different to the other challenging maritime operations I've
undertaken repeatedly in the Gulf when I joined a number of frigates over the years conducting counter-piracy. I also took part in Operation Ellamy during the evacuation of UK nationals from Benghazi in Libya last year with my previous ship HMS Cumberland.
"So it's not really been quite so demanding but we have certainly been kept busy as a department keeping to a programme every day to maintain the security cordon."
The ship spent the Olympic sailing events at sea in Weymouth Bay and is now significantly closer in Portland to witness the sailors battling for gold.