Monday, 19 June 2017

HMS Tartar 4th Commission 1970 7

Still on patrol, still enjoying mostly glorious weather. We continue to enjoy the odd visit from Royal Fleet Auxiliaries who keep us stored up with essentials and fuel, this usually takes a full day and again some lucky beggars get across to use the swimming pool after a gruelling few hours replenishing ship. You would think all we needed to do was jump overboard for a swim but it never happens, perhaps the catching of a 500lb shark by the crew of the Derwentdale had something to do with it.

We had some excitement when we spotted a British tanker near the coast and immediately intercepted her only to find out from the Admiralty that she had indeed been cleared to enter Beira harbour and we were to leave her alone. I of course did not at the time give it a thought that a British tanker had just got clearance to take oil through our supposed blockade.

Our Wasp helicopter carried out a medical emergency and took a crewman from RFA Derwentdale with appendicitis to Beira where he was quickly taken to hospital, the RFA had a doctor onboard but it was decided to take the man ashore.

Uncomfortable ride for a patient, I remember jumping out of one of these.
 It slipped my mind to mention that RFA Ennerdale hit an uncharted pinnacle off the Seychelles about a fortnight ago not long after we started our patrol. We were sadly too far away to help but the crew were all taken off safely, divers from the Andromeda recovered all the secret codes etc.then blew the wreck up to allow it to sink.

Ennerdale wreck.
We did not win the Beira Bucket the last time we met the Hermione but did manage it on our second encounter and as the Hermione was shortly leaving the patrol we turned our fire hoses on her at close quarters as seemed to be the tradition, the Andromeda will be taking over. Before she left we flew another casualty into Beira, perhaps our Wasp was faster.

News arrived this morning that on completion of our patrol we would be spending some time in Mombasa before taking up station in the Persian Gulf for some months, we were also going to get some shore leave. Incredulous stories now went the rounds about the delights of Mombasa, and the Casablanca bar in particular, however we still had to finish our patrol.


  1. I enjoy these peeks into your nautical past, all while I was training to be a teacher in Derbyshire.

    1. I can still see the Hermione off the port side being deluged, my cousin served on her many years later. Still a few weeks left of sunbathing and patrolling.

  2. Ah, the Wasp - didn't exactly fill you with confidence when they had to take the doors off to extend the endurance beyond about 20 mins! We did an 'acquaintance flight' during training where the WAAFU's party trick was to switch the engine off to prove it would auto-rotate to a safe landing.

    1. We 'invaded' Portland in it, three men at a time. I tried to push a guy out who wouldn't jump! No lawyers back then.

  3. Very interesting, get writing those memoirs in full!
    But that helicopter, wow! Give me an EH101 :-D