Friday, February 20, 2009
HMS BLYTH & RAMSEY
HMS Blyth, built by Vosper Thorneycroft (UK) Ltd, was launched by Lady Charlotte Garnett on 4th July 2000. After her final period of fitting out she was formally accepted into the Royal Navy on 28th February 2001. Sea trails were conducted to ensure the ship was capable of operations in the most testing of conditions and then a period of Operational Sea Training provided the ship's company with the training they needed to ensure Blyth can achieve everything expected of her.
HMS Blyth completed her first operational deployment on the 22 May 2003. The deployment began 10 September 2002 and saw the ship deploy through the Mediterranean on NATO Exercises, then through Suez into the Gulf to support Operation Telic. HMS Blyth found and destroyed 5 mines as part of this Operation.
The ship is the second to bear the name Blyth, the first being a Bangor class minesweeper launched 2 Sept 1940. She suffered from excessive vibration and was not completed until Jun 1941 when she joined the 13th Mine Sweeping Flotilla (MSF) under the Plymouth Command. In December 1942, she was transferred to the 9th MSF as part of the Portsmouth Command. Due to her continuing problems with excessive vibration she was declared unsuitable for mine sweeping duties and as a result assumed an air-sea rescue role.
Notwithstanding her mechanical problems she was involved in a series of live operations earning her battle honours. She was placed in reserve in 1946 and sold in 1948 and renamed Radbourne. After a short career as a ferry she was broken up in November 1952.
HMS Ramsey is the tenth of the Sandown Class of Single Role Minehunters to enter service and the third Royal Navy ship to bear the name. Constructed by a sophisticated modular process, Ramsey was built from glass-reinforced plastic by Vosper Thorneycroft (UK) Ltd at their Southampton yard.
The ship was launched by Lady Alynne Dunt on 25 November 1999 and was accepted by the Royal Navy on 26 July 2000. HMS Ramsey has a ship's company of 5 Officers, 7 Senior Ratings and 22 Junior Ratings. HMS Ramsey is affiliated to the town of Ramsey on the Isle of Man; The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company; the Ramsey Charitable Trust; the Manx Sailing and Cruising Club, Ramsey Grammar School, the Ramsey Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Sea Cadet Unit TS Whitehaven. In addition to the official affiliations that HMS Ramsey has on the Isle of Man she also has a strong link with Ramsey's Royal Naval Association
Forgot to say that both ships are berthed in Valletta at the moment and my friend and I went there this morning to take some shots.