Earl of Wessex Prince Edward visits RFA Tidesurge in Portsmouth 080721 CREDIT MOD
Royals

Prince Edward Visits RFA Tidesurge In Portsmouth

The Prince is the Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Earl of Wessex Prince Edward visits RFA Tidesurge in Portsmouth 080721 CREDIT MOD

The Earl of Wessex has visited RFA Tidesurge during a rare stopover for the vessel in Portsmouth.

Prince Edward, who is the Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), met its head, Commodore David Eagles, and toured the tanker, speaking to officers and crew.

He was accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson.

Commanding Officer of Tidesurge, Captain Simon Booth, said: "My ship's company are very proud of their ship and what she delivers to UK defence and were absolutely delighted to be able to show her off to our Commodore-in-Chief.

"His Royal Highness took a keen interest in the capabilities of the ship and the diverse personnel I have the privilege to command."

The RFA delivers worldwide logistic and operational support to Royal Navy and Royal Marines operations.

It is staffed by merchant sailors and is the civilian branch of the naval service.

Prince Edward is welcomed on board RFA Tidesurge in Portsmouth  080721 CREDIT MOD
Prince Edward is welcomed on board RFA Tidesurge (Picture: MOD).

Tidesurge is the third of the RFA's Tide-class tankers – the biggest in service – designed to support the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

At 39,000 tonnes, Tidesurge is able to operate Chinook, Merlin and Wildcat helicopters and, since entering service in 2019, has provided support to Royal Navy and allied warships.

The tanker recently underwent upgrades and a maintenance period and visited Portsmouth to take on stores, rotate crew and prepare for its upcoming Operational Sea Safety Training.

Cover image: Prince Edward during his visit to RFA Tidesurge (Picture: MOD).