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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Ratings get their marching orders
Hughtown, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
The ratings marched through Hughtown in their dress uniforms
Five junior Royal Navy ratings have been marched through the main streets of St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly to apologise for their behaviour.

It follows incidents involving junior ratings from the Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate HMS Iron Duke, who were under the influence of alcohol.

Police in St Mary's had to deal with a number of incidents including drunken behaviour and fighting.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the incident was being investigated.

I certainly wouldn't like to be in the shoes of those junior ratings
Steve Watt, tourism officer

About 80 ratings from the ship went ashore in St Mary's on Saturday, but only a small number were involved in the trouble.

Tourism officer Steve Watt said visits by Royal Navy ships had always gone without problems in the past and this was unlikely to affect any future visits.

He said: "I thought it was a brilliant PR exercise to have the vessel come in here in the first place and I personally didn't witness anything other than normal Saturday-night high spirits."

Mr Watt said HMS Ocean and HMS Cornwall were due to visit the islands soon and it was important not to blow things out of proportion.

"These were relatively minor incidents, but I certainly wouldn't like to be in the shoes of those junior ratings."

Run ashore

Sgt Ian Stevens of Devon and Cornwall Police told BBC News a number of complaints were received after the sailors came ashore and he confirmed that some have been issued with 80 fixed penalty fines.

"It was a lively old evening with some drunkenness and boisterous behaviour", he said.

"The seamen have been on board for two weeks and this was their first run ashore for a while, so I think they made the most of it."

A member of the ship's company, who was alleged to have tampered with a fishing boat at Hughtown quay, has apologised to the vessel's owner.

An MoD statement said internal disciplinary matters were being considered.




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