Danny delighted to return home after four months patrolling the high seas

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SECOND officer Danny Stather is looking forward to being back from the high seas.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary officer, from Barnsley, is due back on dry land today, after four months patrolling the seas of the Middle East.

The 32-year-old, a former pupil of Carlton’s Edward Sheerien School, has been deployed on missions involving counter-piracy, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and people-trafficking operations on board RFA Wave Knight.

The ship is manned by 71 Royal Fleet Auxiliary officers - civilians employed by the Ministry of Defence to supply warships of the Royal Navy at sea with fuel, food, stores and ammunition.

But the crew of RFA Wave Knight was also prepared for any eventuality and trained to conduct evacuation operations and disaster relief.

Their missions included rescuing 10 sailors from a stricken pleasure craft, which had issued a mayday distress and was capsizing off the coast of Oman.

Danny, the ship’s communications officer, said: “It has been a rewarding deployment highlighting the versatility the RFA provides to maritime security.

“Taking part in maritime support, counter-piracy operations and mayday rescues has kept everyone on board highly focused.

“I am looking forward to returning home on leave.”

Danny joined the RFA in 1998 and has been honoured with a Commander-in-Chief fleet commendation and service medals for service in Iraq and Sierra Leone.

He will return to 13-year-old son Ashley Mills and parents Sheila and Charles Stather.

During its time away, RFA Wave Knight steamed 57,460 miles, replenished 56 warships and five tankers, issuing more than 21,000 cubic metres of diesel fuel and 2,000 cubic metres of aviation fuel.