Tanker Wave Knight gets an affiliated town after 15 years’ service

It has taken 15 years but at last tanker RFA Wave Knight has a place to call her own: Middlesbrough.

The auxiliary has forged a formal bond with the Teesside town – a bond sealed with the presentation of certificates to the ship’s company by Mayor Dave Budd in the town hall.

He received a ship’s crest from Wave Knight’s second-in-command Chief Officer Pierre Wyatt.

“The captain is very keen to bring the ship in Middlesbrough as soon as we can,” said Pierre.

We will follow Wave Knight’s exploits with considerable interest – Middlesbrough has a proud history of association with Royal Naval ships, so I’m delighted to formally mark our new affiliation.

Mayor Dave Budd

“There are a lot of people from the North East working for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and it’s important for them to feel a real association between their ship and their local towns and cities and especially a place steeped in maritime heritage like Middlesbrough.”

Mayor Budd said the ship and her company – 72 RFA sailors plus around two dozen RN personnel, chiefly to support helicopter operations when embarked – would receive a “warm Middlesbrough welcome” whenever they called on his town.

He continued: “We will follow Wave Knight’s exploits with considerable interest – Middlesbrough has a proud history of association with Royal Naval ships, so I’m delighted to formally mark our new affiliation.”

The 31,500-tonne fast fleet tanker has been in service since 2003, providing fuel to RN and Allied warships around the globe, conducted counter-narcotics and hurricane relief work in the Caribbean, and sustained British ships involved in the 2011 campaign in Libya to oust Col Gaddafi.

She’s about to emerge from refit at the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead – crew moved back on board in early November – to begin the regeneration.