Fuel’s gold for Portsmouth frigate HMS St Albans

The view from HMS St Albans during the operation
The view from HMS St Albans during the operation

Bells ring out in tribute

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Portsmouth frigate HMS St Albans has performed her first refuel at sea following a £25m refit.

The first refuelling, known as replenishment at sea, or RAS, is part of her training before deployment, and is a routine yet vital operation to sustain the Royal Navy’s surface ship on patrol around the globe.

But the manoeuvre is one of the most dangerous, yet carefully choreographed, on the seas.

Lieutenant Andrew House, who performed the manoeuvre until she was alongside the Royal Auxiliary tanker Wave Ruler, said: ‘Manoeuvring the ships in such close proximity is terrifying, but you quickly park any thoughts of the consequences of getting it wrong. I have trained for this and the training just kicked in.’

St Albans is continuing her training off the coast of Devon before returning to Portsmouth for Christmas.