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A SAILOR from Basingstoke has been deployed to the Falkland Islands.

Sub-Lieutenant Luke Holdcroft is aboard HMS Clyde in the South Atlantic, as part of a nine-month training programme to get experience at sea.

The former Costello School pupil gained a first class degree in civil engineering at Exeter University, after studying at Queen Mary’s College, in Cliddesden Road.

Luke joined the Royal Navy in February last year. While training at Britannia Royal Navy College, in Dartmouth, Devon, he received an award for top warfare cadet and a navigational prize.

His time aboard HMS Clyde will give him the experience to become a qualified Officer of the Watch.

He said: “My deployment to the Falklands is my first in the Royal Navy.

“I am really pleased to have been given this draft. It not only provides me the necessary training, but also allows me to learn more about the 1982 Falklands conflict – an important part of the Royal Navy’s recent history.”

Luke added that he had visited sites on the islands, spoken to people who were there at the time of the conflict with Argentina, and spotted different breeds of penguins on the beaches.

HMS Clyde is the Royal Navy’s longest-deployed warship, having been on patrol in the waters around the Falkland Islands since August 2007.