RFA Mounts Bay has completed a replenishment at sea (RAS) with the Royal Netherlands Navy's largest ship, HNLMS Karel Doorman, by an "unusual method".
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship said in a tweet: "Fuel was passed between the two ships whilst both were dynamically positioned (DP), whilst simultaneously carrying out amphib and flying ops Joint Viking 23."
In response to a Twitter user asking if this was the first time it had happened, Mounts Bay responded: "Most crew have never known a DP RAS to be conducted in their careers... a rafting up (side by side) is more common, but not always practical!"
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A replenishment at sea (RAS) is a routine but quite dangerous evolution with fuel, in this case being transferred in a thick black hose.
Normally in an RAS, both ships are side by side moving forwards on a set bearing but, in this case, the ships were using various thrusters to stay positioned with each other – known as dynamic positioning.
At the same time, the Dutch multi-function support ship HNLMS Karel Doorman was conducting helicopter landings.
RFA Mounts Bay was also operating a Royal Marines Landing Craft Utility (LCU) out of the dock at the stern of the ship.
Mounts Bay was recently seen crashing through huge waves as she battled a violent storm at sea on the way to Exercise Joint Viking 23.
A video captured by Cadet Alex Bridger and posted on Twitter showed the ship being hit by wave after wave with a large one coming right over the deck.
RFA Mounts Bay tweeted: "Many thanks to Cadet (X) Alex Bridger for sharing this dramatic footage of Mounts Bay enduring a sea state 11 on our passage to Joint Viking 23."