UK: Royal Navy Warship HMS Tyne to Support Tyne Festival

Royal Navy Warship HMS Tyne to Support Tyne Festival

Royal Navy warship HMS Tyne will go alongside Western Quay in North Shields this Friday for the start of a five-day visit to her affiliate region.

The ship’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Dan Thomas, will host several receptions on board the ship for local and regional dignitaries, to cement the special relationship that exists between the ship and her adopted area.

The Mouth of the Tyne Festival concert on Friday night is expected to draw a large number of visitors – including Lt Cdr Thomas – to see headline acts such as McFly.

The ship will host a number of visits from local cadet organisations – including TS Tyne which is affiliated with the ship, TS Endurance and TS Comus – and on Saturday, Lt Cdr Thomas will host a Captain’s Luncheon for invited guests. That evening, as guests of North Tyneside Council and in recognition of the close affiliation, members of the ship’s company will embark on a Friendship Games river cruise – a bit of a busman’s holiday but a chance to enjoy some recreation time while ashore.

On Sunday, members of the ship’s company will participate in Lord Mayor Linda Arkley’s Pageant Walk, from the Priory School to Tynemouth Front Street, and also a Children’s Jubilee Pageant and Procession.

But the highlight of the visit will be when crew opens the gangway for the public to go aboard on Sunday 15th July. Short tours of the ship, from 10am until 4pm, will offer Tynesiders a unique insight into life in the Royal Navy, as well as the career opportunities that are available.

One of HMS Tyne’s roles is to act as a patrol vessel and secure Britain’s fish stocks; on display will be the fast boats used to intercept fishing vessels suspected of breaking EU Laws, equipment used to measure fishing nets and charts displaying the different types of fish to be found in UK waters.

Lt Cdr Thomas said:

“I am delighted to be able to bring HMS Tyne into North Shields to form part of the celebrations of the Mouth of the Tyne Festival and it is a visit that my whole ship’s company is very much looking forward to.

“Maintaining a close link with the area is absolutely imperative and it goes some way to reinforcing the message that the Royal Navy continues to maintain a permanent presence in coastal waters to safeguard our Nation’s interests.

“The weekend programme looks fantastic and I pass on my thanks to everybody who has included us in these events and made us feel so welcome by providing some hard earned relaxation between busy fishery protection patrols.”

HMS Tyne is the first of a batch of three River Class Offshore Patrol vessels operated by the Royal Navy. Built by Vosper Thorneycroft, she entered service with the Royal Navy in 2003.

Along with sister ships Mersey and Severn, HMS Tyne forms the backbone of the Fishery Protection Squadron, the oldest Squadron in the Royal Navy, which patrol English, Welsh and Northern Irish waters, enforcing EU and UK legislation designed to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks for the future. HMS Tyne spends 320 days at sea each year, whatever the weather, policing over 80,000 square miles of sea, up to 200 miles off the coast of the UK.

HMS Tyne employs two water jet propelled Rigid Inflatable Boats capable of more than 32 knots and several of the ship’s officers, including the captain, are qualified as British Sea Fisheries Officers (BSFOs) and Marine Enforcement Officers (MEOs). The ship operates 24 hours per day and can conduct several boardings simultaneously.

Tyne is a highly flexible unit with the ability to fulfil a number of defence objectives. The sheer number of days spent at sea in UK waters places her at high readiness for Search and Rescue operations or assistance to HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Border Agency. Alongside her fishery protection duties, HMS Tyne undertakes maritime security, keeping a watchful eye for unusual or illicit activity. A large deck and crane allows the ship to be adapted for a number of other tasks including disaster relief, anti-pollution and salvage operations.

To enable maximum time at sea each year, Tyne operates a three-watch manning system. This means that while two watches are on board at sea, a third watch will be ashore either attending courses or enjoying well-earned leave.

The ship has a mixed male and female complement of 46, divided into four departments: Warfare –navigation, sea boat operations, gunnery and communications; Logistics – provisions, stores, food preparation and administration; Marine Engineering – maintaining the propulsion and power generation systems, the hull, water and sanitation systems; Weapon Engineering – maintaining the weapons, radars, sensors and communications equipment.

Naval Today Staff, July 20, 2012; Image: Royal Navy