HMS Biter on its way to King’s Lynn. PictureS: Paul Tibbs

Visitors were given a taste of life in the Royal Navy when they were welcomed on board a fast patrol boat which stopped off in King’s Lynn.

HMS Biter made a courtesy visit to the town last weekend while travelling along the east coast.

On Friday afternoon Your Local Paper photographer Paul Tibbs was invited on board King’s Lynn Conservancy Board’s pilot cutter to meet HMS Biter in The Wash.

Pilot Richard Crawford took the vessel to the pontoons at Lynn’s South Quay ready to welcome visitors on Saturday afternoon.

A representative of the vessel wrote on Twitter: “Over 400 members of the public braved the chilly wind in King’s Lynn to come on board and look around.

“Thanks to everyone for coming and chatting to us about life on board and in the Royal Navy.”

Sea Cadets of Lynn’s TS Vancouver and cadets of 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron Air Training Corps were among those given a tour of the boat and met crew members.

The 20m-long vessel  is one of 14 units of the same type which makes up the Royal Navy’s First Boat Patrol Squadron.

The squadron conducts a range of activities throughout the UK and northern Europe, promoting UK interests abroad and conducting training for Royal Navy navigators and embarked University Royal Navy Unit students.

King’s Lynn harbour master Patrick Jary, who was instrumental in arranging the visit, said: “The commander of the boat, Lieutenant Matthew Smith, is married to my niece and since their wedding last year I have been dropping large hints of persuasion to arrange Warship Biter to visit our port.

“It has been brilliant. What a great experience for King’s Lynn.”  

On Saturday afternoon’s tide a pilot moved the vessel into the Alexander Dock due to a lack of water under keel,  where it will stay until the weather is suitable for the onward journey to Newcastle.

On Saturday evening the ship’s crew and Lynn Conservancy Board representatives attended a reception with the West Norfolk Mayor Geoff Hipperson at the town hall.