This is the moment a friendly seal hopped on board the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship HMS Bulwark as they were making their final preparations for Exercise Joint Warrior.
The seal swam up into the landing dock at the back of the ship as she was anchored off the east coast of Scotland near Carnoustie preparing for her part in the large scale exercise as the command platform.
Flopping about the bay, the seal appeared to wave at the surprised Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel who had gathered in the dock as part of the exercise serials.
Lieutenant Sarah Filshie, the Air Aviation Officer managed to catch a few pictures of the mammal before it swam back into the chilly waters.
She said: “It’s rather unusual to have a seal actually come on board but he seemed very inquisitive and interested in what we were up to. He stayed for about half an hour before one of the other officers approached him to see if he needed any help getting back into the water, and then he just turned around and went back out again. He’d seemed perfectly comfortable just sitting there waving at us.”
The Royal Navy, Army and RAF are gearing up to launch Europe’s biggest war game off the coast of Scotland on Friday with a spectacular beach assault.
Involving more than 40 warships, 40 fixed-wing aircraft and 30 helicopters from the UK, Netherlands, Canada, France, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Germany, over 12,000 personnel will be putting their warfighting skills into action.
Exercise Joint Warrior will put this Response Force Task Group, which is designed to respond at a moment’s notice to rapidly unfolding world events, to the test in a vast arena off the East and West coasts of Scotland over the next three weeks.