RAS off Falkland Islands on 19th December 1982 showing cargo manifold area of BRITISH TAY and hose connections to RFA TIDESPRING. We steamed at 12 knots for 7 hours at 160 feet apart to complete cargo transfer.
As the tidespring was the receiving station that she probably did keep station anyway. We had finished our trip to the Falklands and did a pumpover of some of our remaining cargo- i seem to recall it was mainly dieso but probably some avcat too. Most of the BP tankers down there supplied the RFA with fuel at some stage; we had loaded in Devonport and Portland prior to going south; however we had some problems with the quality of some of the avcat- not sure where the fault lay and we came back from the Falklands via Curacao. discharging quite a bit of it there to the shell refinery.
on the subject of keeping station, does someone know the procedure for a quick exit in case of unforseen cir***stances? are the couplings in the picture some kind of quick release that could be let go almost instantly? i imagine the relatively small amount of fuel that would be spilled before the pumps could be shutdown and manifold valves closed would be irrelevant if an emergency dictated rapid separation; there would surely be severe damage to fittings etc if there wasn't some kind of system..
Setvie-w, there was indeed an Emergency Breakaway Procedure, from the NATO breakable spool, basically a bobbin piece with a groove that could be broken very quickly, the UK Quick Release Coupling (QRC) and of course the probe which was the quickest and most efficient. All would have generated a certain amount of spillage but we are talking buckets rather than barrels here if the breakaway was not properly conducted. However it was, and I suspect still is, a procedure frequently exercised resulting in little or no spillage other than into the prepositioned savealls.
That picture shows Dieso and FFO being transferred with a QRC coupling being utilised for the evolution.
Thanks for the info- I suppose i should look more closely at my pics- are the hoses colour coded or did you read the ffo marked on the hose. Another query re:collision avoidance- obviously we displayed Restricted in Ability to Manoeuvre signals but as this does not exonerate us from collision avoidance , do you know the procedure for taking avoiding action in the case of two/three vessels on a RAS. We steamed in a straightline for over 80 miles in the vast expanses of the South Atlantic so it was not an issue but it must have been for someone?
Fuel Hoses, the colours are red = FFO; blue = Dieso; blue and yellow Avcat. There were also different hoses used for different grades indicated by the stripes/bands on them but my memory does not stretch that far back, I'll bet there will be somebody out there who remembers.
Collision avoidance and navigational alterations of course was used using the Corpen November procedure. To corpen is to wheel the formation as opposed to a "turn" which is a straightforward alteration of course where everyone turns at the same time and speed, no use at all during a RAS. Corpen November is usually done in 5 or 10 degree steps with the guide making the alteration and the station keeping ship maintaining station by speeding up on the outside of the turn and slowing down on the inside of the turn, we are talking minor adjustments here. Collision avoidance during RAS was great fun (sic)in the channel at Portland or now at Plymouth durning BOST etc.