SHE’S not the biggest vessel in the Royal Navy, nor the most fearsome.
But the role of the new 15m-workboat Tedworth is nonetheless important, as guests at her naming and commissioning ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base were told.
Base commander Commodore Jeremy Rigby led the ceremony for the vessel, which will be used by a team of specialist divers to carry out repairs and maintenance on other ships.
Cdre Rigby, 53, said: ‘The tempo of activity in the naval base is increasing significantly and one of the keys to that is to make sure we get the warships turned around as quickly as possible.
‘Part of that is getting the diving teams out and about with the equipment they need to get on with their specialist work.’
Carmen Greenlees, wife of the base’s head of infrastructure Captain Iain Greenlees, poured a bottle of champagne over Tedworth’s nameplate to officially name the vessel.
It is like going from Skoda to a BMWSteve Coleman
Assistant diving supervisor Steve Coleman is part of the team from BAE Systems which will crew the boat.
Mr Coleman said Tedworth was a huge improvement on the vessel she replaced, the 30-year-Hamble Guardian.
He said: ‘The difference is huge – it is like going from Skoda to a BMW.’
Base services manager Commander David Hilton, 66, said the boat was named after a Second World War-era ship.
A method in which divers decompressed in a chamber after reaching the surface was developed on that HMS Tedworth.
Cdr Hilton said: ‘It is correct that she is named Tedworth in memory of all those brave diving volunteers who lost their lives or became paralysed in proving the Tedworth Method of surface compression.’
Tedworth was built in Portchester by Meercat Workboats.
She will be based in Portsmouth Harbour.