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RFA Gold Rover departs Simon’s Town for the last time

RFA Gold Rover.The Royal Navy’s replenishment vessel RFA Gold Rover has departed Simon’s Town for the last time ahead of its decommissioning next year.

The vessel left Simon’s Town Naval Base on 8 November, escorted from the harbour by two South African Navy tugs, giving her a guard of honour with a display of their fire-fighting monitors.

Captain Richard Taylor, Commanding Officer of Gold Rover said “It is with a high degree of sadness that we depart Simons Town for the last time and we are genuinely humbled by the warm reception we receive every time we call. We must always look to the future and I have no doubt that UK Naval Units will continue to be regular visitors within the region and that Simons Town will always be the choice port of call where we are assured of a welcoming and cheery port visit”

RFA Gold Rover first visited Simon’s Town in late 2006 and ever since has been a regular visitor. The Royal Navy said the South African port has proven to be an ideal location within the area of operations to conduct maintenance, stores, personnel transfers and rest and recreation.

RFA Gold Rover is the last operational ship of the “Rover” class in the Royal Navy (RFA Blue Rover is in Portuguese naval service as the NRP Berrio) and this will be her last tour of the South Atlantic where she has been giving operational support in the South Atlantic for many decades.

RFA Gold Rover was built to replenish Royal Navy ships with fuel, oil, aviation fuel, lubricants, fresh water and a limited amount of dry cargo and refrigerated stores. RFA Gold Rover is one of the original five Admiralty-designed and commissioned ships. The decision to phase them out was made as part of a worldwide effort to replace single-hulled tankers with more environmentally safe double-hulled vessels.

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