RFA Gold Rover (A271)
RFA Gold Rover leaving Plymouth Sound
|Name:||RFA Gold Rover|
|Builder:||Swan Hunter, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom|
|Launched:||7 March 1973|
|Commissioned:||22 March 1974|
|Decommissioned:||6 March 2017|
|Identification:||Pennant number: A271|
|Class and type:||Rover class|
|Displacement:||11522 tons full load|
|Length:||461 ft 04 in (140.61 m)|
|Beam:||63 ft 02 in (19.25 m)|
|Draught:||23 ft 11 in (7.29 m)|
|Installed power:||15,300 shp|
|Propulsion:||2 x 16 cyl Pielstick diesels|
|Range:||15,000 miles (24,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)|
|Endurance:||8,000 nautical miles|
|Capacity:||3,000 m³ of fuel|
|Sperry Marine Visionmaster radars and ECDIS. 1690 I band navigation radars|
|Aircraft carried:||Helicopter deck but no hangar|
Gold Rover and her sister Black Rover were the last two in service with the RFA on duty around the world. The class were phased out as part of a worldwide effort to replace single-hulled tankers with more environmentally safe double-hulled vessels. Gold Rover herself was decommissioned in a sunset ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base on 6 March 2017.
The Rover class was predominantly used to transport fuel, oil, aviation fuel for services around the globe; it could also carry limited dried stores of 340 tonnes such as munitions and refrigerated goods. They were built with a flight deck large enough to accommodate two helicopters, although no hangar was fitted.
Gold Rover participated in the 1986 Jamaican flood relief operations.
On 1 December 1990, Gold Rover lost her rudder in severe weather in the South Atlantic and sent out a distress call. Some of her crew were airlifted off and she managed to get to anchor seventeen miles east of Lively island to ride out the storm before she was towed by the tug Oil Mariner to Montevideo for repairs.
2006 was a busy year for Gold Rover. She was in Nigeria in June 2006 for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the formation of the Nigerian Navy. As part of the celebrations there was a Fleet Review by President Olusegun Obasanjo. On 6 October she, along with Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll and Royal Marines from 40 Commando, seized more than two tonnes of cocaine during a major drugs haul off the coast of West Africa. The illegal drugs, which were found in an unregistered vessel, had a UK street value of some £60 million.
Gold Rover was part of a Royal Navy amphibious task group, the VELA Deployment 06, en route to Sierra Leone where she and other ships were taking part in a major amphibious exercise. Whilst on the way to West Africa Gold Rover was contributing to the global fight against terrorism and the Royal Navy's maritime security operations activity.
In 2015, she participated in Operation UNITAS.
Gold Rover entered Portsmouth for the final time on 22 February 2017, bowing out after 43 years of active service.
- "Rover Class". www.worldnavalships.com. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "RFA Gold Rover". M.O.D. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "RFA Gold Rover". www.toysoutofthepram.com. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "A271 RFA Gold Rover". www.helis.com. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "RFA Gold Rover returns home". www.royalnavy.mod.uk
- "Final Plymouth farewell by Royal Navy’s support ship" www.royalnavy.mod.uk
- "RFA Gold Rover to make a last trip to Portsmouth after 43-year career". www.portsmouth.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-22.