Passengers on a cross-Channel ferry watched in amazement as Royal Marines Commandos stormed aboard during a “vital” training exercise.
The green berets of 539 Assault Squadron and 42 Commando swooped on the ship as it travelled in Plymouth in rough seas.
The boat was packed with holidaymakers who had earlier set sail from Roscoff in north-western France.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “Using high-speed boats and their specialist climbing equipment, commandos deftly clambered aboard Brittany Ferries’ Armorique, 10 miles off the south coast.
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited The green berets of 539 Assault Squadron and 42 Commando swooped on the Plymouth-bound ship (PA)
“In rough seas, the commandos sped behind the 29,469-tonne Armorique, as passengers crowded the upper decks to watch.
“They saw 16 specialist troops from 42 Commando make their daring ascent of the nine-deck ferry in notoriously difficult conditions.
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited The ferry was packed with holidaymakers after it set sail from Roscoff in north-western France (PA)
“With coxswains from 539 Assault Squadron piloting three fast craft, the marines made the audacious climb by cable ladder to the upper decks of the ferry, all while cutting through the water at around 25mph.”
Captain Jack Denniss, of 539 Assault Squadron, based in Plymouth, said: “The Royal Marines are one of only a few forces in the UK trained to conduct this sort of operation, so it is vital we do this training regularly, under the most arduous conditions possible.
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Commandos stormed aboard in arduous conditions during a
“During this sort of boarding, the point of greatest vulnerability can often be the embarkation.
“In fact, achieving access to a fast-moving vessel is in some cases more dangerous than the enemy protecting it.
“Success in such an endeavour requires rigorous training, courage and importantly, an expert coxswain who can stand up to the conditions.”