HMS Shoreham: Back to 2007 for the triumphant return of HMS Shoreham to Shoreham

When HMS Shoreham sailed into its spiritual home in October 2007, it was one of the Royal Navy’s most advanced warships.

The 600-tonne, 52-metre-long, Sandown-class minesweeper arrived in Shoreham Harbour for a four-day stay, which included a cocktail party for local dignitaries.

Lieutenant Commander Nick Borbone, a former Worthing school pupil, took command of HMS Shoreham in March that year.

He told the Herald at the time: “We are named after the town and we have got some very strong links with some of the local authorities and organisations in the Sussex region.

HMS Shoreham docked in Shoreham Harbour in 2007

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"They support us very well when we go on our travels. It is nice for us to come back and give all these people a close-up view of their own ship and the opportunity to talk to some of the ship’s company.”

Lt Cdr Borbone added taking the ship into Shoreham had been quite a homecoming for him.

“I am a local lad. I went to Durrington High School and I went to TS Vanguard as a cadet, which was my inspiration for joining the Navy,” he said. “That was some 22 years ago. This is as close as I can get to my home town on a ship.”

Lt Commander Nick Borbone on HMS Shoreham in October 2007

In August, 2007, HMS Shoreham returned from an operational tour of the Mediterranean, having been away for four months as part of the UK mine-hunting 'on call' force.

After leaving Shoreham, the ship was due to travel to Faslane Naval Base, in Scotland, before preparing to head for the Gulf the following year.

Lt Cdr Borbone said: “It is a fantastic ship. We have got a great ship’s company – a very strong team, and very capable. We have got one of the most sophisticated warships in the Royal Navy.”

At the time, HMS Shoreham carried two remote operating vehicles – miniature submarines – which were controlled from the ship.

Minehunter HMS Shoreham gets a watery welcome from tugs Powerful and Bustler as she leads HMS Grimsby, HMS Ramsey, and HMS Ledbury into Portsmouth Harbour in July 2005

Once the ship had detected a mine at sea, the crew was capable of launching a craft, dealing with the threat and having the vessel back on board within eight minutes.

Chief Petty Officer Gary Burridge, who had been in the Navy for 23 years, grew up in Shoreham and attended King’s Manor School, and his wife and mother still lived in the area, he told the Herald.

"This is the first time I have been on Shoreham, in Shoreham. It is nice to be here to entertain the dignitaries. My mum lives in Shoreham and she is coming aboard with the family. I am booked up all weekend.”

AB Kim Scott rings the bell on HMS Shoreham in 2007
HMS Shoreham RCV
CPO Gary Burridge on HMS Shoreham in October 2007
HMS Shoreham RCV