Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Tanker Tidesurge pays rare visit by Royal Fleet Auxiliary to Northern Ireland

Tanker Tidesurge pays rare visit by Royal Fleet Auxiliary to Northern Ireland
10 February 2023
With the iconic crane gantries of the Harland and Wolff yard in the distance, Royal Navy support ship RFA Tidesurge pays a first visit to Northern Ireland.

The tanker – one of four built to meet the fuel requirements of HMS Queen Elizabeth/Prince of Wales and their carrier strike groups – is spending six days in Belfast.

She was given a plum berth in Belfast Lough, one normally occupied by cruise ships.

She’s hosting several visits for local industry and maritime leaders – Harland and Wolff, for example, will carry out the bulk of the work on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s three next-generation solid support ships, successors to the ageing Fort Victoria – plus visits from local Reservists, University students and Sea Cadets.

Comprehensive tours have been arranged for Brigadier James Senior CBE (Commander 38 (Irish) Brigade), Commander Rob Milligan (Senior Naval Officer Northern Ireland), Professor Alastair Adair (a Royal Navy Reserve Honorary Captain), Ian Lang of Belfast Harbour and members of 38 Brigade Irish Regiment.

Historians from HMS Caroline, a WW1 cruiser which survived the Battle of Jutland and is now a floating museum in the Titanic Quarter, took a break from preparing to reopen the ship on April 1 now pandemic has passed and reciprocated RFA hospitality by offering a free look around the WW1 veteran.

“I’m delighted to bring RFA Tidesurge into Belfast – especially in the wake of the recent announcement that the three new RFA solid support ships will be built here,” said Captain Karl Woodfield, Tidesurge’s Commanding Officer.

“The RFA has close historical ties with Belfast with RFA Fort Victoria being built and registered in Belfast and RFA Argus converted here.

“This visit is an excellent opportunity for the ship’s company to enjoy the delights of such a modern and vibrant maritime city and also an opportunity for the Northern Ireland business community to see a modern RFA ship up close and personable.”

The ship is in town until the weekend when she departs to continue supporting Royal Navy operations in and around the UK.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.