Dauntless Tom rides again on high seas

Tom Rowley
Tom Rowley
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A SCARBOROUGH Royal Navy Lieutenant has set sail on his final overseas deployment.

Tom Rowley, 43, is currently Air Warfare Officer on mighty warship HMS Dauntless.

Tom, a former Graham School Nautical Studies student, recently left on a seven-month deployment to the South Atlantic.

And despite the move coming amid continuing diplomatic posturing over the Falklands Islands, Tom, who has 27 years service behind him, played down the significance of the trip.

He said: “The deployment was really just routine, we have been sending ships to the South Atlantic for the last 30 years.

“HMS Dauntless just happens to be the next one to go.

“It is a coincidence it happened to be around the time of the Falklands Anniversary, but we have decommissioned our older ships, so it’s only right the new ones take their place.”

Tom, who now lives in Portsmouth with wife Tracey, is still a well-known face in Scarborough, with his family having strong connections to the fishing industry.

His father, Tom Snr, is the current captain of the Regal Lady and a revered character as a ‘Bottom Ender’ in Scarborough.

His mother Lindy has been instrumental in the establishing of the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre, in Eastborough, and Tom Jnr said his progression into the Navy was an obvious journey.

He added: “I was always conscious of the expectation to be a fisherman, but something inside pushed me towards the Navy.

“I have no regrets though and with the benefit of hindsight I am glad I made the decision I did.”

After joining the Navy as a Junior Seaman in 1985, he has been promoted again and will become a Lieutenant Commander in October.

On leaving HMS Dauntless next year, he is likely to take up a training role ashore teaching the next generation of mariners about life at sea, before leaving the Navy in 2018 after 33 years service.

However, the family name and tradition is set to live on as Tom’s son, also called Tom, joins the Navy this month.

l HMS Dauntless was involved in a dramatic rescue even before it left for its latest mission.

It came to the aid of an injured yachtsman off the Plymouth coast, despite leaving Portsmouth two days earlier.

The Type 45 destroyer, still conducting final pre-deployment training, responded to a distress call when a man suffered a suspected stroke.

On arrival, HMS Dauntless launched a boat with doctor and medical team aboard to provide help.

The man had not suffered a stroke, but was airlifted to hospital for treatment.