The same must apply to the crews of the UK's revenue cutters. Not only have Dutch shipbuilders Damen constructed these for standards of crew comfort unknown to the Royal Navy, with floating soundproof decks, 'box-in-box' suspended crew quarters and generous leisure space, but they also even have raft-mounted engines to reduce vibration so the crew can sleep more easily. Those domes at the stern aren't for tracking the pursuit of drug smugglers - they are TV satellite receivers, so the lads (and lasses?) don't miss a single world cup game. And that tube at the front isn't a gun but a fire-hose, designed to look like a gun.
But I guess that comfy beds, satellite TV and gourmet food just aren't enough for our Border Force afloat. What they really need is a month or so steaming between the Aegean islands on ink-dark seas, with Retsina and gay discos after their 9-to-5 shifts are done. To top up their tans and steam about searching for the few rubber boat people making the trip to the Greek islands from Turkey, and take them back.
The problem is, the UK has only four revenue cutters - HMC Valiant, HMC Seeker, HMC Searcher and HMC Vigilant. Valiant has been on holiday in Greece since 2015, and it's been so much fun that another of the flotilla will join her there. Meaning half our total revenue cutters are away on holiday. And unlike the Household Cavalry's chargers, not just for a quick break.
Nice work if you can get it.
|HMC Vigilant - will she win the Greek lottery?|