A ROYAL Navy ship's crew, including a Cwmbran sailor, will welcome children from Gwent on board this week.

The destroyer HMS Dragon is sailing into Cardiff on Wednesday for a five-day visit and on board will be Cwmbran man Lieutenant Commander Richard Harris, 32..

He joined the Royal Navy in 2002 after being sponsored to read Electronic Engineering at Southampton University by the Navy.

Lt Cdr Harris is now the ship’s Weapon Engineering Officer, directly responsible to the Captain for the provision of weapons, sensors and information systems.

He has served on HMS Marlborough and HMS Iron Duke, as well as at the Ministry of Defence in London.

He said: “It’s great to be visiting Cardiff, the city has changed loads since I was growing up. Dragon is Cardiff’s Ship, so it is all the more special.”

The 152-metre ship, a Type 45 destroyer has a packed schedule which kicks off on Thursday as hundreds of young people go on board as part of pre-arranged tours, before civic dignitaries and other guests will go on board for a capability demonstration in the evening.

The ship will also receive the Freedom of the City of Cardiff.

The schools and colleges visits continue on Friday and on Saturday it is the turn of the public to get their own taste of life on the ocean wave when HMS Dragon opens her gangway.

Children will visit from Pontlanfraith Comprehensive, Blackwood Comprehensive, Ebbw Vale PSC, as well as Sea Cadets from Newport.

The ship will be open from 10am to 4pm, with last entry at 3pm.