Prince William officially opens new training facility at Faslane

The Prince meets Royal Navy submariners in the Submariner Memorial Garden

The Prince meets Royal Navy submariners in the Submariner Memorial Garden

HMNB Clyde hosted a royal visitor this week as His Royal Highness Prince William officially opened a multi-million-pound training facility.

The prince met with service personnel at Faslane yesterday (Tuesday) before taking in England’s EURO 2020 last-16 match with Germany at Wembley later that evening.

During his visit to Faslane Prince William welcomed the new £34m Submarine Escape, Rescue, Abandonment and Survival (SMERAS) facility, which will be used to train Royal Navy submariners in how to safely escape from a stricken submarine.

The state-of-the-art building, known as ‘Thetis’ – after wartime submarine HMS Thetis which sank in Liverpool Bay in 1939 – features a realistic simulator capable of mimicking a variety of weather conditions and sea states.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Submariners demonstrate their escape skills within SMERASSubmariners demonstrate their escape skills within SMERAS

Trainers can put students through their paces in the water, giving them the opportunity to practise abandoning a submarine and escaping to life rafts while wind, rain and even thunder and lightning rage around them.

While officially opening the SMERAS facility Prince William also signed the guest book on the same page as his grandfather, Prince Philip, did in 1961, and his father, Prince Charles, signed in 1972.

Commodore Jim Perks OBE, head of the Royal Navy submarine service, said: “This visit has been an excellent and important opportunity to update the submarine service’s Commodore-in-Chief on recent operations.

“It has also provided us with an opportunity to highlight the ongoing work on the Clyde to make the naval base the Royal Navy’s submarine centre of specialisation.

“These are exciting times to be a submariner at HM Naval Base Clyde as we continue to shape the future of the service.”