Mighty carrier tugs flex their muscles in Portsmouth

Fort Rosalie is towed by harbour tugs in Portsmouth Picture: L(Phot) IGGY Robert
Fort Rosalie is towed by harbour tugs in Portsmouth Picture: L(Phot) IGGY Robert

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THE ships tasked with guiding the Royal Navy’s largest warship ever made into Portsmouth have this week flexed their muscles

Serco tugs Bountiful, Indulgent and Independent revved up to test their towing power on large ships ahead of the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth next year.

The small fleet met with Fort Rosalie when she made a rare visit to the city and carried out a number of training serials on the approach to Round Tower before bringing Fort Rosalie into harbour and mooring her at Victory Jetty, which will be one of the quays used by the carriers when in port.

At 23,384 tonnes and 185.1 metres in length, Fort Rosalie is nearly 100 metres shorter and almost three times lighter than the new carrier and her sister HMS Prince of Wales – but still considerably larger than any warship currently based in Portsmouth.

Fort Rosalie commanding officer Captain Gerard Patterson said: ‘They got what they wanted and the beauty of it was it was a low-water arrival and it doesn’t get any more difficult than that.’

Queen Elizabeth weighs 65,000 tonnes.

She will arrive in early 2017.