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RFA Fort Rosalie hosts families’ day

31 August 2016
Relatives line the decks of Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Fort Rosalie to watch demonstrations and displays during what is believed could be the RFA’s first families day.

Around 100 loved ones flocked to the ship for a trip around the Weymouth coast to get a taste of what their relatives do while on board.

Youngsters got the chance to don fire suits and have a go at plying water hoses at safety nets – and receive a soaking as the water sprayed back at them.

There was also a set of stocks set up on the flight deck for the children to soak family members which went down well.

The voyage began with a briefing about flags but the younger visitors were much more interested in the deep draught cylinder as it was big enough to hoist them up in.

A tour of the bridge was followed by lunch (pasta, meatballs, salad, sandwiches, soup and an array of puddings) before a man overboard exercise.

Many ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ were heard as the ship’s boat was launched and sped off to save ‘Fred’ from drowning – the boat performing a donut as it did so.

The younger visitors were also enamoured by the ship’s horn which had to be tested at least 50 times.

Once Fred had been rescued and brought back onboard it was back onto the clearway for a tour of the engine room, a replenishment display and a rope-splicing demonstration.

Visitors were given a briefing on emergency procedures within the life rafts and shown the equipment involved – the children enjoyed poking their heads out of the vents.

It was then up to the messroom for cupcake decorating while the now-weary parents enjoyed a cup of tea.

The pipe sounded for hands to stations and the visitors made their way back up to ‘monkey island’ – the observation deck above the bridge – to watch Rosalie make her way back into Portland Harbour accompanied by a tug spraying water.

Before disembarking, the visitors heard from the ship’s captain and those aged under 16 were presented with certificates and polo shirts bearing Rosalie’s crest.

One of two solid support ships, Rosalie usually carries the explosive and non-explosive stores to support a Royal Marines Landing Force.

Earlier this year she returned to the RFA fleet following a refit in Birkenhead.

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