Sea vessels

RFA Mounts Bay battles violent storm as ship crashes through massive waves

Watch: Dramatic footage shows RFA Mounts Bay battling massive waves on her passage to Joint Viking 23.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship Mounts Bay is seen crashing through huge waves as she battles a violent storm at sea on the way to Exercise Joint Viking 23.

A video captured by Cadet Alex Bridger and posted on Twitter shows 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."

RFA Mounts Bay added: "The sea can be one cruel beasty!".

The vessel was battling what is known as 'sea state 11' in official weather terms. The Met Office, using the Beaufort wind force scale – an empirical measure used in marine forecasts for describing wind intensity based on observed sea conditions – would describe the state as a "violent storm".

According to the National Weather Service, sea state 11 brings with it "exceptionally high waves (small and medium-sized ships might be for time lost to view behind the waves)".

"The sea is completely covered with long white patches of foam lying along the direction of the wind. Everywhere, the edges of the wave crests are blown into froth."

Earlier this month, "after a lengthy (and bumpy) passage", RFA Mounts Bay arrived at its RV point with HMS Albion to participate in Joint Viking 23, joining Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) nations.

Exercise Joint Viking is a Norwegian military winter exercise held every two years. It is led by the Norwegian military, with invited forces from Nato and partner nations.

Around 20,000 soldiers from nine countries take part. Of these, 12,000 are participating in Joint Viking, while 8,000 take part in the British-led naval exercise Joint Warrior.

The field exercise lasts from 6 to 16 March 2023 but there is also military activity in the weeks before and after.

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