HMS Bacchante (F69)
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HMS Bacchante in June 1973
|Name:||HMS Bacchante (F69)|
|Laid down:||27 October 1966|
|Launched:||29 February 1968|
|Commissioned:||17 October 1969|
|Fate:||Sold to Royal New Zealand Navy 1982.|
|Name:||HMNZS Wellington (F69)|
|Operator:||Royal New Zealand Navy|
|Fate:||Sunk in Wellington Harbour, NZ, 13 November 2005.|
|Class and type:||Leander class frigate|
|Aircraft carried:||1 × Westland Wasp helicopter|
In 1970, Bacchante joined Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), with which she visited a variety of ports and performed naval exercises. The following year, in 1971 Bacchante deployed to the West Indies. While there, she participated in a number of naval exercises, including an exercise with the carriers HMS Ark Royal and USS America. She acted as West Indies Guardship in 1973. During the same period, she was deployed for the Second and Third Cod Wars as part of the Fishery Protection Squadron.
Bacchante was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1981 conducting the second ever Armilla patrol taking over from the Minerva visiting the Somali capital of Mogadishu and the Oman capital of Muscat (often drifting in the Indian Ocean to conserve fuel). In 1982, Bacchante became the Gibraltar Guardship and joined the Birmingham group deploying to the South Atlantic to undertake duties during the Falklands War. Shortly after the war was over the crew was sent ashore to aid the local populace in the disaster recovery operations, providing navigational landmarks for ships located in Stanley Sound and attempting to refloat the high commissioner's barge (but failing); also providing well deserved respite for Royal Marines and navy divers (hot food and accommodation). Whilst trying to erect a navigational radar reflector the team sent ashore, they wandered through a mine field (no injuries received).
On decommissioning she was bought from the New Zealand Government for one dollar by the "Sink F69 Trust". On 13 November 2005, after cleaning and the removal of all environmentally unfriendly materials, she was sunk as an artificial reef and dive attraction. She now lies in approximately 25 metres of water about 800 metres offshore from Island Bay, a southern suburb of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.
|1969||1971||Commander Noel Bearne RN|
|1971||1972||Commander Julian Oswald RN|
|1974||1975||Commander John B.L Watson RN|
|1978||1979||Commander J R Brigstocke RN|
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hmsbacchante.co.uk. Accessed on 14 March 2006