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Tiderace takes pride of place on Liverpool waterfront

Tiderace takes pride of place on Liverpool waterfront
15 May 2020
Enjoying the prime berth on Liverpool’s famous waterfront – normally reserved for cruise liners and major warships – is tanker RFA Tiderace.

The 39,000-tonne auxiliary is completing her five-month overhaul in the hands of Birkenhead’s world-famous Cammell Laird yard across the Mersey on a jetty typically used by passenger liners, or warships paying high-profile visits to the port (such as carrier HMS Prince of Wales which drew massive crowds on her debut in her affiliated city).

Tiderace – one of four Tide-class vessels built to provide Prince of Wales, her older sister HMS Queen Elizabeth and their carrier battle groups with fuel to power both the ships and F-35 strike fighters and helicopters – has been in the hands of Cammell Laird since the beginning of the year.

She’s one of numerous RFA vessels being revamped by the Birkenhead yard as part of a ten-year/£619m contract to maintain, overhaul and refit the auxiliary flotilla.

I am really pleased for RFA Tiderace to take pride of place on Liverpool’s premier berth. We are now in the final stages of our planned upkeep period and preparing to conduct sea trials and regeneration in order to take up her roles. I will definitely be very sad to lose the view of the Liverpool skyline when we depart.

Captain Miles Lewis RFA

Tiderace went into dry dock back in January for work beneath the waterline, such as adding a fresh lick of paint to the 200-metre-long-hull and the unenviable task of inspecting the sludge tanks.

Since then further work has been carried out in Tranmere Basin on the left bank of the Mersey… and then Canada Dock in Bootle on the right bank.

With no cruise ships using the berth built specially for them just a proverbial stone’s throw from the Liverpool city centre, merchant vessels have been using it instead for resupply and maintenance work.

The final fortnight or so of the maintenance revolves around a fresh coat of (special) paint for the tanker’s huge flight deck (large enough to accommodate a Chinook) under a protective awning to spare shipwrights exposure to the elements.

“I am really pleased for RFA Tiderace to take pride of place on Liverpool’s premier berth,” said Captain Miles Lewis RFA.

“We are now in the final stages of our planned upkeep period  and preparing to conduct sea trials and regeneration in order to take up her roles. I will definitely be very sad to lose the view of the Liverpool skyline when we depart.”

The ship is due to leave Pier Head at the end of May.

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