Submarine’s crew say a special Thank You to families at parade

The crew of a Royal Navy submarine has held a special day to thank friends and relatives for their support.

The 130-strong crew of HMS Talent was matched by a similar number of well-wishers at a formal parade at Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth.

The submarine's captain, Commander John Aitken, thanked the visitors formally at the parade and informally later at a cricket competition and barbecue. He told them: "Successful submarines are born of successful teams, and that team extends not only inside the steel of the hull but into the family home."

The Families Day also gave information about contacts and support during periods of absence, and covered planning for future patrols and how relatives and friends can communicate with the crew.

The parade also included an awards ceremony to honour members of the crew who stood out for their contribution to the deployment and general excellence in the submarine service.

Leading Seaman Robert Carter-Lovell, from Plymstock, received the Man of the Boat Award.

Father-of-three Robert, 31, has served in the Navy for 14 years, almost seven of them aboard Talent. For the last two years, he has had extra responsibility for the junior rates.

During the maintenance period, he established and helped to install a complete multi-media system to help all ranks relax at sea.

Most of the work was done in his own time.

He also took on the role of the ship's stationery coordinator.

Commander Aitken said: "He has given his all to Talent.

"For the most part, awards are given to individuals who have done a great thing.

"This award is made in recognition of his outstanding devotion to his submarine and his shipmates."

Another award went to Chief Petty Officer Steven Mathews for 15 years' long service and good conduct.