RFA Lyme Bay visits London for shipping week

Topic: Fighting armsRoyal Auxiliary Fleet

Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Lyme Bay sailed up the River Thames for London International Shipping Week.

The amphibious support ship spent time anchored off Greenwich Pier this week - sailing under Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, past the O2 Arena and arriving near 19th Century sailing ship Cutty Sark.

For commanding officer Captain Angus Bissell, the vessel's presence in London highlighted the importance of the RFA to the Royal Navy and the wider maritime scene.

"It is amazing to be here in London," he said.

"It's a great opportunity to be able to represent the RFA, showcasing the contribution we make to seafaring.

"We have a unique capability which our fellow Bay-class ship Mounts Bay has shown in the past couple weeks in the Bahamas."


Captain Bissell, a former Royal Navy submariner, added: "I haven't sailed the Thames since the 1980s so it is great to do it again and see, despite many changes, that it still welcomes shipping and maritime interests."

During her time in Greenwich, Lyme Bay hosted members of her affiliated companies and organisations. While on board, her guests got to hear from Commodore RFA Duncan Lamb, head of the RFA, about what the ships have been doing the past 12 months and were also given a tour of the 16,000-tonne ship.

Captain Bissell said the annual event was a great opportunity for people to learn more about Lyme Bay and the Bay class' versatility.

Later that day, the latest maritime technology was put on display in an event hosted on board by the Department for Transport.

Cdre Lamb said: "It is really important for the RFA to be part of London International Shipping Week.

"With the cadets, apprenticeships and officers we have on board our ships, we add a significant maritime contribution. It is great to be able to highlight the good work the RFA does and its support to the Royal Navy."

It is great to be able to highlight the good work the RFA does and its support to the Royal Navy

Captain Angus Bissell