HMS Hecla (A133)

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HMS Hecla 1982 Gibraltar.jpg
Hecla at HM Naval Base Gibraltar, during conversion to an Ambulance Ship for use during the Falklands War
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Hecla (A133)
Builder: Blythswood
Laid down: 6 May 1964
Launched: 21 December 1964
Completed: 24 August 1965
Commissioned: 1964
Fate: Sold 1997
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,800 tons full load
Length: 79 m (259 ft 2 in)
Beam: 15.4 m (50 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.9 m (16 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: 3 × Paxman Ventura V-12 diesel engines
Speed:
  • 11 kn (20 km/h) cruise
  • 14 kn (26 km/h) maximum
Range: 12,000 nmi (22,000 km) at 11 kn (20 km/h)
Complement: 121
Aircraft carried: 1 × Westland Wasp light helicopter
Service record
Operations: Falklands War

HMS Hecla was the lead ship of the Hecla class, an oceangoing survey ship type in the Royal Navy. She was ordered in the mid-1960s, along with her sister ships HMS Hecate and HMS Hydra. A fourth ship, HMS Herald, was completed in the early 1970s. The ship served for thirty years in this role, and various others, before finally being replaced by HMS Scott in 1997. Hecla was sold to private interests, being renamed "Bligh" after Vice-Admiral William Bligh. After this, the vessel was used in a hydrographic survey of Irish waters, and was based in Waterford, Ireland.

In 1982, Hecla was used as an ambulance ship for the duration of the Falklands War. In this role, she ferried wounded from both sides to the main hospital ship, SS Uganda.

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