Being an Above Water Weapons specialist, I pride myself in attention to detail. For me to fire the projectile on to the ship first time during RFA Tidespring’s first operational RAS is a great honour and a memory that will stay with me throughout my career

Leading Seaman Louis Vine

A lot of HMS Westminster’s ship’s company had not participated in a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) before – after all the last RAS that HMS Westminster had conducted was in November 2017 with RFA Wave Knight.

Tidespring towered over Westminster. With a delicate approach HMS Westminster’s Commanding Officer Cdr Simon Kelly took control from the bridge wings with a team of specialist to advise him appropriately.

Once the ship was in position, Leading Seaman Louis Vine shot the soft nose projectile across to RFA Tidespring to begin the exchange of lines between the two ships.

“Being an Above Water Weapons specialist, I pride myself in attention to detail. For me to fire the projectile on to the ship first time during RFA Tidespring’s first operational RAS is a great honour and a memory that will stay with me throughout my career,” said Louis for whom this was his final RAS aboard Westminster.

Four lines were pulled across to HMS Westminster, allowing communications between the ships, a distance line for correct separation, a spare line and finally a line to transfer fuel.

Once the exchange of fuel was complete Cdr Kelly sent over a crest and a bottle of red wine to Tidespring’s Captain Simon Herbert.

As the two ships separated the crew took a well earned break; the serial was over and the ship could return to conducting operations after a successful RAS.

– Article by ET(CIS) Jake Volpe, HMS Westminster.

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