The UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship, Fort Victoria, simultaneously refueled the Australian ship, HMAS Melbourne, and the Norwegian ship, HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen, in balmy conditions off the north-eastern coast of Somalia.
This risky manoeuvre requires nerves of steel from each ship’s captain and crew as the vessels sail just metres apart while fuel is transferred.
A lack of concentration could spell disaster, making the ‘Double RAS’ one of the most hazardous peacetime evolutions at sea.
This replenishment completed successfully, allowing the Fort Victoria and the Melbourne to continue their counter-piracy mission in support of the Combined Maritime Forces CTF-151.
The Fridtjof Nansen is supporting NATO’s maritime operations in the region.
Press Release, November 12, 2013; Image: UK Navy