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Subsequent name:                  Porto Grande

Class:                                   FRESH CLASS Water Carrier

Pennant No:                          A 349

Laid down:                            29 November 1939
Builder:                                 Lytham Shipbuilding, Lytham
Launched:                             23 March 1940
Into Service:                          10 September 1940

Out of service:                       1946
Fate:                                    1968 sold out of service

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

Background Data:  There were 14 vessels in this Class, designed by H.M. Dockyard, Devonport to the order of the RFA. The design was based on that of the earlier BLOSSOM and FOUNTAIN CLASSES but with an additional salvage and fire-fighting capability. They were originally operated by the Director of Victualling and were maintained at RN bases in the U.K. and Mediterranean where they were employed principally in replenishing warships’ freshwater supplies and also, from time to time, in fire fighting and salvage work. A total of 236 tons of fresh water could be carried in 6 tanks. Most of them saw only limited service under the RFA ensign, manned by RFA crews working under Board of Trade (Home Trade) Agreements, before being transferred to the control of the Captains of the Dockyards on Yard Craft Agreements. In 1959 they were brought under the authority of the newly-formed Port Auxiliary Service which in turn became the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service. Originally all coal-fired, 4 of the Class were converted to oil-burning in 1961

23 March 1940 launched by Lytham Shipbuilding & Engineering Co, Lytham as Yard Nr: 862 named  FRESHWATER for the Admiralty (Director of Stores)

10 September 1940 completed at a cost of £24,162 and was taken over by the RFA

11 September 1940 sailed sailed Fleetwood for Chatham

10 September 1944 sailed Seine Bay in convoy FBC78 to Weymouth Bay arriving the next day

1946 ceased to be classed as an RFA and was taken over by the Director of Victualling

1946 based at Chatham

29 January 1949 at Sheerness alongside HMS SUPERB supplying fresh water

1950 to 1960 based at Sheerness

17 March 1952 at Stangate Creek, Sheerness alongside HMS PLYM

21 March 1952 at Stangate Creek, Sheerness alongside HMS PLYM

plym atom target

HMS PLYM

28 March 1952 at Stangate Creek, Sheerness alongside HMS PLYM - supplied 26 tons of water

24 April 1952 at Stangate Creek, Sheerness alongside HMS PLYM - supplied 20 tons of water

29 April 1952 at Stangate Creek, Sheerness alongside HMS PLYM - supplied 30 tons of water

6 May 1952 at Stangate Creek, Sheerness alongside HMS PLYM - supplied 20 tons of water

8 May 1952 at Stangate Creek, Sheerness alongside HMS PLYM - supplied 14 tons of water

15 June 1953 took part in the Coronation Fleet Reviewat Spithead along with 7 other RFA’s

27 April 1959 at Devonport alongside HMS CENTAUR supplying water

17 January 1961 at Lymington Pier Steward Hector Rice discharged dead - stroke

1961 converted to oil fuel burning

1963 to 1967 based at Gibraltar

May 1967 on the Disposal List at Gibraltar

14 June 1967 offered for sale 'as lying' at H M Dockyard, Gibraltar in the Times of this day

1968 purchased by Ferro & Cia Ltda, St Vincent, Cape Verde Islands and renamed PORTO GRANDE

18 July 2009 berthed at Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands

RFA Freshwater

PORTO GRANDE at Cape Verde Islands
© Bengt-Rune Inberg

16 April 2013 berthed at Palmeria Bay, Sal Island, Cape Verde Islands

18 May 2013 berthed at Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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