HMS Tyne to Berth in Tynemouth, UK

HMS Tyne to Berth in North Shields, UK

Royal Navy warship HMS Tyne will go alongside Western Quay in North Shields this Friday morning (July 12) at 6.30am for the start of a week-long visit to her affiliate region.

She is visiting in support of the annual Mouth of the Tyne Festival and is very much looking forward to representing the Royal Navy at the event.

The ship’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Robert Laverty, 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 members of the ship’s company – to see headline acts such as James Morrison and the Human League.

The ship will host a number of visits from local cadet organisations plus local schools, the Royal British Legion, reservists from HMS Calliope in Gateshead and a tour of the ship for Inner City Stables, an affiliate organisation in Byker.

But just as last year – when the people of Tyneside flocked to see the ship – the highlight of the visit will be when crew opens the gangway for the public to go aboard on both Saturday and Sunday (July 13-14).

Short tours of the ship, from 10am until 3pm, will offer Tynesiders a unique insight into life in the Royal Navy, as well as the varied range of 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 Laverty said:

“We are thoroughly looking forward to visiting our affiliated town of Tynemouth and supporting the Mouth of the Tyne Festival. We have strong connections with the North East and look forward to welcoming as many people as possible onboard over the weekend.”

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.

Press Release, July 10, 2013; Image: Royal Navy