Father and son Simon and Chris Johnson enjoyed some rare family time together as their warships linked up east of Suez. Simon, serving aboard hunter-killer submarine HMS Triumph, and teenager Chris, a junior rate aboard new destroyer HMS Daring, met up as the vessels conducted an exercise.
The image might look threatening – a submarine trailing a British warship at sunset. But for a sailor and submariner it was a happy meeting, thousands of miles from home.
AB Chris Johnson, of HMS Daring, joined his dad CPO Simon Johnson on HMS Triumph.
Warfare Specialist Chris (19) wasn’t even born when his father joined the Navy in 1980, and they hadn’t seen each for eight months – and weren’t expecting to meet for three more.
Chris, from Plymouth, said: “Seeing my Dad after so long was really great.
“It was truly eye-opening to see him in Triumph while she was actually at sea.
“I got to know where he worked and how the crew of Triumph operate in the depths.
“I also got to look at Daring through the periscope and to place her in the cross-hairs – somewhere you don’t really want to be!
“All in all, it was a real morale boost for both crews and particularly for me and my Dad.”
Artificer Weapon Engineer Simon (49) from Manchester, said: “It was great to see my son after so much time apart; showing him around Triumph was great.
“When I deployed I had absolutely no idea that I would get to see Chris at sea during such a busy time – the chances were one in a million.”
The ship and submarine are two of the Royal Navy’s best assets and were exercising together on operations in the Arabian Sea.
Daring, the Type 45 ship, worked with the Trafalgar Class nuclear-powered sub in the Indian Ocean’s challenging conditions.
The sleek silhouette of the submarine contrasted starkly in the Arabian sunset with the Type 45’s angled stealthy lines.
Other sailors were able to crew swap for the duration of the exercise. Daring’s sea boat transferred six people from the warship to Triumph and then took six submariners back to the ship.
Daring and her crew are currently deployed as part of the Combined Maritime Task Forces (CMF) where, with other partner Nations, she has been conducting tasking ranging from maritime security, counter piracy, capacity building through to the wider maritime security effort dedicated to maintaining stability in the region.