Royal Navy Tracks a Russian Vessel Through English Channel

HMS Mersey tracks the movement of a Russian oiler through the Channel (Royal Navy)

Published Aug 24, 2022 4:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

Royal Navy warship HMS Mersey has shadowed the Russian fleet oiler Akademik Pashin through the Channel – the latest Russian Navy vessel 

Following HMS Portland’s recent tracking of two Russian submarines in the UK’s area of interest, Portsmouth-based patrol ship HMS Mersey was called on to monitor the movements of the Pashin from the North Sea, through the Dover Strait and down the leg of the Channel towards the North Atlantic.

The oiler is the first tanker built for the Russian Navy since the end of the Cold War, and she supplies the ships of the Northern Fleet with the fuel they need to sustain operations.

“It has been a team effort, working with our NATO partners monitoring the movements of Russian vessels through the North Sea and English Channel," said Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell.

“Whilst most of the UK has been enjoying a record summer of warm weather, Mersey is just one of a number of Royal Naval vessels maintaining a continuous presence at sea, protecting UK interests.”

The Pashin has continued her voyage into the Atlantic, while HMS Mersey has resumed her patrols of home waters.

With her sister patrol ships HMS Tyne and Severn, Mersey ensures a constant presence in UK waters, monitoring contacts of interest and enforcing regulations. 

In late July, the frigate HMS Portland monitored the state-of-the-art Yasen-class missile sub Severodvinsk and the Akula-class attack sub Vepr as they headed southbound from Russia's Arctic North. 

The Type 23 frigate shadowed the submarines as they surfaced separately in the North Sea, northwest of Bergen, on July 16 and 19. NATO and NATO-allied forces took over tracking duties as the subs continued to St Petersburg.

HMS Portland with the attack sub Sverodvinsk, July 2022 (Royal Navy)