UK: HMS Dragon Notches Up Another First as She Conducts Light Jackstay

HMS Dragon Notches Up Another First as She Conducts Light Jackstay

In mid March, Type 45 HMS Dragon bagged a first when she conducted and completed a Light Jackstay Transfer – the method of transferring people or light stores from ship to ship.

Favoured by a relatively benign sea state and challenged by a brisk wind blowing across the ships, the Type 45 took up position alongside Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker RFA Orangeleaf, with only 40m of water separating the two vessels.

The gunline (a fine rope) was then fired across to allow the passing of the distance lines and Jackstay ropes between the two ships.

CPO Justin Norton’s usual Replenishment Teams were bolstered by a team of 25 extra hands as a mix of officers, senior rates and junior rates gathered to assist with the task.

Under the watchful gaze of the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) inspectors, the teams tackled the arduous task of keeping the Jackstay taut during transfers – effectively having a tug of war between a 7,000-ton warship and a 17,500-ton RFA tanker.

After the successful transfer of the test weight – a 250kg block of metal – Dragon’s Ruth made the first crossing. Ruth’s position within the ship’s company is valued, but unrecognised; Ruth is the affectionate nickname for the Man Overboard Dummy.

The final transfer was a weighted canvas bag containing some mementos – a Dragon’s ship’s crest and some bottles of wine to mark the occasion.

CPO Norton said:

“All teams worked well and are to be congratulated in their efforts in achieving the first successful Light Jackstay.

“It was a great honour to set the benchmark and prove that this type of replenishment can be achieved from one of the Royal Navy’s most advanced destroyers.”

Naval Today Staff , March 28, 2012; Image: royalnavy