The second of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new Tide-class support ships, RFA Tiderace, has arrived in Cornwall to begin a programme of customisation that will support 300 UK jobs. Like her sister ship RFA Tidespring, which arrived in April this year, the 39,000-tonne RFA Tiderace can carry up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water in support of Royal Navy operations all over the world. She has been designed to support the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, the first of which, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Portsmouth last month. Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: This year of the Royal Navy goes from strength to strength as we welcome yet another new ship into the UK’s growing fleet.
In the early hours of the morning, the Royal Navy vessel launched her Wildcat helicopter to search for a ship reported missing off the south east coast of the island of Vieques. The team of UK personnel spotted an upturned hull along with some debris and a life raft in the surf. Three people then clambered up onto the up turned hull and waved for assistance, which was spotted by a US Coastguard C130 aircraft. The Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter was then tasked to rescue the three people. They were transported safely to RFA Mounts Bay where they were treated for minor injuries. Commanding Officer of RFA Mounts Bay, Captain Steve Norris, said: My ship and crew demonstrated exceptional teamwork today to save these lives, and I am immensely grateful to them all for their efforts in this operation.
Royal Navy mine hunter HMS Penzance returned to her Scottish base of operations today after spending three years helping to protect vital waterways in the Gulf. Sailing the ship as it made its way up the Gare Loch were Crew 1 from Faslane’s First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1) who have served with the vessel for the past eight months. A Royal Navy Sandown class Mine Counter Measures Vessel (MCMV), during her three-years deployed to the Middle East HMS Penzance has spent over 7,500 hours at sea and sailed more than 34,000 miles. At any one time the Royal Navy has four mine hunters working in the Gulf – two Scottish-based Sandown class ships from HM Naval Base Clyde and two Hunt class vessels which are usually based in Portsmouth. While there, the vessels conducted routine surveys, sea-bed clearance and mine clearance operations.