Devon

Welcome for 'Carey's crew' as HMS Ocean returns to Plymouth

The largest vessel in the Royal Navy, helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, has returned to its Plymouth base.

The ship has arrived back at Devonport Naval Base after a seven-and-a-half-month deployment which saw it sent to Libya to support the United Nations.

Hundreds of friends and family lined the dockside to welcome them home.

The crew recently became an internet sensation after making a Christmas video miming to Mariah Carey's 1994 hit All I Want for Christmas Is You.

'Can do X Factor'

The carrier left Plymouth in April, initially for a seven-week training exercise.

However, it was diverted to Libya to support the UN air mission during the uprising against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

When the crew was told the ship would be back in Plymouth for Christmas, Lieutenant Kelly Cleeve got the idea for the video, which was then completed in two days during an "unusually quiet period".

About one million people worldwide have viewed it, and it has been endorsed by the singer herself.

Lt Cleeve said: "It has been crazy. I don't think they have really grasped how internationally famous they have become.

"They have said they are ready to do the X Factor final if required."

Mariah Carey messaged the crew through Twitter, saying: "This is the best thing I've ever seen, you guys just made my day."

As well as the internet success, some sailors were also celebrating recent additions to their families, with 15 babies being born during the deployment.

The ship's commanding officer, Capt Andrew Betton, said: "It's wonderful to see everyone reunited with their families.

"It's really good to be back in Plymouth."

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