RFA Tidesurge renews links with Greenock

Greenock residents will get the opportunity to see the town’s affiliated ship on Wednesday, September 4, when Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Tidesurge pays a visit.

The giant military support ship will anchor 1.5 miles off coast at around 4pm on the day affording a spectacular view from Greenock waterfront.

“The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is now the largest employer of UK Merchant Seafarers and a key fighting arm of the Naval Service.  It’s great that we can visit our affiliated town and solidify those links forged during the Service of Dedication held at Ocean Terminal in February this year.” Said Captain Gerry Patterson, Commanding Officer of RFA Tidesurge and Greenock native. 

Captain Patterson and crew members from Tidesurge will be coming ashore by boat during the visit, heading to the Civic Centre to meet with Greenock Provost Martin Brennan and members of Inverclyde District Council.

Since entering service, RFA Tidesurge has been operating in exercise areas off the south coast, providing replenishment at sea and support to Royal Navy and foreign warships under the direction of Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) – the Royal Navy’s training organisation.

Most recently, Tidesurge has been operating inside the Arctic Circle as well as the Norwegian, North Seas and Atlantic, working alongside 814 Naval Air Squadron. 

It is a personal pleasure to return RFA Tidesurge to Greenock and to an area with such a rich and vibrant maritime heritage.

Captain Gerry Patterson, Commanding Officer of RFA Tidesurge

Previously Greenock was affiliated to RFA Gold Rover which provided service in support of the Royal Navy and NATO allies for over 40 years.  The honour was bestowed on RFA Tidesurge which has seen the RFA continue its close ties with the area and with the local sea cadet unit – now called TS Tidesurge.

RFA Tidesurge is the third of four Military Afloat Reach & Sustainability (MARS) Tankers.  The Tide Class tankers are flexible, state-of-the-art double-hulled vessels which will provide replenishment at sea capability and support to the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.  The ships also undertake a wide range of maritime operations including policing shipping lanes and providing humanitarian relief.