In pictures: Royal Navy ship returns to Eastbourne for the first in five years

A Royal Navy ship has returned to Eastbourne, which is its affiliated town, for the first time in five years – and residents were able to have a look around the boat.

HMS PUNCHER, a P2000 Royal Navy Patrol Vessel, visited Sovereign Harbour from June 12-15.

The commanding officer of HMS PUNCHER Lt Alex Snow said: "HMS PUNCHER’s ship’s company is delighted to have returned to her affiliated town of Eastbourne. We were particularly honoured to have met and exercised at sea with the volunteers of Eastbourne RNLI. Other highlights included hosting the recently elected mayor, Eastbourne Sea Cadets, regional employers, members of the local Royal Naval Association branch and of course [having the] ship open to visitors. We were humbled by the turnout and [were] made to feel extremely welcome throughout our time in Eastbourne where we look forward to regular visits over the coming months.

“HMS PUNCHER has an exciting programme ahead of us including AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) trials and other tactical development as Coastal Forces Squadron continue to push the capabilities of [the] P2000 patrol craft. To stay up to date on PUNCHER’s activities, including upcoming visits, be sure to follow us at”

Eastbourne residents were pictured on HMS PUNCHER as they were allowed to have a look around the ship on Tuesday, June 13, as part of a free event where no tickets were required.

In previous years P2000s operated solely as navigation training platform for University Royal Navy Unit cadets, according to the ship’s commanding officer.