Fifteen years after they formed the vanguard of the Royal Navy’s minehunting mission in the Gulf, Her Majesty’s Ships Ramsey and Blyth today passed into history.
The two sister ships were decommissioned August 4th in Rosyth during a poignant service marking their long service around the globe.
Both Sandown-class mine countermeasures vessels have served extensively during careers spanning 21 years and 175,000 miles for Ramsey, 185,000 miles over 20 years for Blyth, supporting operations in the Middle East, around the UK or on NATO duties in northern European and Mediterranean waters.
Dozens of affiliates and friends joined the crews, RN leaders and Deputy Chaplain of the Fleet Reverend Martin Evans, with music provided by the Band of HM Royal Marines Plymouth.
HMS Ramsey left her home port at Faslane for the final time in August last year, sailing to Rosyth where she has undergone work to prepare her for formal decommissioning. Blyth passed down Gareloch for the last time a month ago.
The two ships were the first sent to Bahrain when the government decided a permanent minehunter presence was required in the Gulf – a presence which continues to this day.
Ramsey’s final Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Joel Roberts praised “a great ship”.
He continued: “HMS Ramsey has given 21 years of operational service to the Royal Navy and throughout her life it has been the members of her ship’s company, the people, who have made her what she is.
“It is time to say farewell to a ship that has been both a home and a way of life to so many.
“She will undoubtedly be missed, but rather than being sad, today is about remembering her duty and celebrating her 21 years of distinguished service.”