Sea_Crusader_1997

Reproduced with permission of the MOD

 

RFA Sea Crusader

 

Previous name:                       Celestine
Subsequent name:                  Celestine    

Official Number:                       9126372                                                               

Class:                                      Strategic Sealift  Ro-Ro

Pennant No:                            A96

Laid down:                              18 March 1996
Builder:                                    Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan
Launched:                               7 June 1996
Into Service:                            10 October 1996
Out of service:                         7 August 2003
Fate:                                        Returned to owners and name reverted to Celestine.

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:   The formation of the Joint Rapid Deployment Force (JRDF) which afterwards became the Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF) was announced in mid-1996 and the MoD had to look around for additional freight carrying capacity. It had been announced in April that same year that 2 ro-ro ferries were to be purchased. The JRDF included elements of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and 5 Airborne Brigade and its armoured reinforcement would have imposed additional transportation requirements over and above that of the existing fleet of LSL’s. Because it had not always been possible to find suitable vessels at short notice, it was decided in the short term that at least one, but perhaps two, commercial ro-ro vessels should be bareboat chartered with the option to extend this charter at the end of the agreed period

 

17 March 1995 building contract signed

18 March 1996 laid down

7 June 1996 launched by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, Sakaide as Yard Nr: 1465 named  CELESTINE for Oceanarrow Ltd Inc, Panama City. Bareboat charterers were to be Oceanarrow (UK) Ltd under management of Euroship Services Ltd, Purfleet for charter to Cobelfret (Luxembourg) S.A, Luxembourg.  O.N. 25535-PEXT

17 September 1996 charter party with MoD (N) signed

18 September 1996 commenced sea trials

21 September 1996 completed sea trials

4 October 1996 completed and handed over to her owners and then leased to the MoD (N) for an initial two year period. This was later extended

10 October 1996 Captain N A Jones RFA appointed in command

10 October 1996 handed over to the RFA at Sakaide and was renamed SEA CRUSADER

14 October 1996 sailed Sakaide on her maiden voyage to the UK via Split, Croatia

16 November 1996 port engine stopped during a voyage from Split to Marchwood Military Port when sparks were noted coming from the port funnel. Engine later restarted

23 November 1996 arrived Marchwood Military Port for the first time

23 November 1996 Chief Officer Ross G Ferris RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

Capt Ross Ferris mugshot

Chief Officer Ross Ferris RFA

10 December 1996 sailed Split to Emden.

11 December 1996 suffered fuel leak in the Port main engine - repaired.

14 December 1996 fresh water cooling pipe cracked diverted to Gibraltar for repairs arriving 14 December 1996

14 December 1996 repairs completed and sailed Gibraltar for Vlissingen (Flushing) arrived 18 December 1996

1997 her Ship’s Badge was officially presented to her

24 March 1997 during a voyage from Antwerp to Split the Starboard engine was stopped due to a fuel leak - repaired

24 May 1997 Chief Officer I N Pilling RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

18 July 1997 while sailing from Glasgow ran aground in the Clyde. Refloated without any reported damage

28 August 1997 while departing Marchwood Military Port fouled by wire rope. 

5 September 1997 supported British Army in Exercise Rhino Redlen

25 September 1997 recovered British Army vehicles used in Exercise Rhino Redlen

4 December 1997 Chief Officer I Gough RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

6 May 1998 berthed at Tees Dock for refit

1998 Chief Officer R H Allan RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

26 September 1998 passed Vlissingden

October 1998 charter expired and was renewed until 04/99. This was later again renewed until August 2003

7 November 1998 while sailing Millbay Docks, Plymouth suffered minor damage when she fouled the jetty

December 1998 Chief Officer Trevor J Iles RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

Capt Trevor Iles

Chief Officer Trevor J Iles RFA

28 December 1998 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

15 February 1999 at Emden, Germany

18 February 1999 sailed Marchwood with D Squadron, The Blues and Royals armoured vehicles - 12 Scimitar armoured reconnaissance tanks, 12 Challenger 1 main battle tanks, and command and support vehicles for Thessaloniki for duty in the Balkans War

30 May 1999 while on passage from Bastia to Thessaloniki suffered steering gear failure - repaired

6 August 1999 berthed at Portland, Dorset

16 August 1999 while on passage from Emden to Thessaloniki - water contamination found in thermal oil system. Port main engine stopped. Vessel diverted to Cagliari for repairs

2 September 1999 at Plymouth Chief Officer R Bennett RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

10 November 1999 sailed from Antwerp

11 November 1999 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

11 January 2000 berthed at Teesport

26 January 2000 sailed Emden for Thessalonki

20 February 2000 berthed at Teesport

2000 Chief Officer D Cooper RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

1 April 2000 at Marchwood Military Port

19 July 2000 while on passage from Thessaloniki to Marchwood Military Port one engine stopped for 4 hours due to blocked fuel pump

2 September 2000 Chief Officer A McNally RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command until 27 March 2001

22 December 2000 arrived A & P Yard, Wallsend for refit

27 January 2001 dry docked at Wallsend on Tyne until 6 February 2001 during refit

23 February 2001 berthed at Portsmouth

27 March 2001 Chief Officer D Cooper RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

12 April 2001 arrived at Marchwood Military Port

31 May 2001 transit south through Suez Canal

13 June 2001 transit north through Suez Canal 

20 June 2001 berthed at Gibraltar

12 August 2001 transit south through Suez Canal

25 August 2001 transit north through Suez Canal

5 September 2001 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

15 September 2001 together with RFA DILLIGENCE and four Royal Naval Minesweepers - HMS CATTISTOCK, HMS QUORN, HMS WALNEY and HMS IINVERNESS transit south through the Suez Canal

8 October 2001 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

11 October 2001 Chief Officer D Gilzean RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

20 October 2001 to 21 October 2001 berthed at Gibraltar

30 November 2001 arrived at Marchwood Military Port from Oman

29 January 2002 transitted the Suez Canal

3 February 2002 to 4 February 2002 berthed at Gibraltar

11 February 2002 at Marchwood Military Port

17 March 2002 transitted the Suez Canal

22 March 2002 to 23 March 2002 berthed at Gibraltar

28 March 2002 at Marchwood Military Port

22 April 2002 to 23 April 2002 berthed at Gibraltar

2 May 2002 berthed at Antwerp

5 May 2002 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

6 May 2002 sailed from Marchwood Military Port

15 May 2002 at Marchwood and Chief Officer Paul Hamlin RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

21 May 2002 berthed at Antwerp

21 June 2002 to 23 June 2002 engaged in joint exercises with RMAS Newton in the Portland area

4 July 2002 at North Shields, River Tyne

18 July 2002 sailed North Shields, River Tyne after amaintenance period there

19 July 2002 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

7 August 2002 berthed at Montreal, Canada

16 September 2002 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

20 September 2002 berthed at Antwerp

23 October 2002 three days into a voyage from Portland to Montreal had to return to Falmouth to CASEVAC a member of the crew sailing the same day

2 November 2002 berthed at Montreal, Canada

14 November 2002 at Marchwood Military Port

23 November 2002 during the fifth day of voyage from Emden to Quebec had to return to the Solent with main engine defects - defects repaired and voyage recommenced

4 January 2003 at Marchwood Military Port

5 February 2003 sailed Portsmouth for service during Operation Telic - the 2nd Gulf War - and joined 13 other RFA’s

14 February 2003 transit Suez Canal southbound

14 March 2003 Chief Officer Nigel A Budd RFA appointed as Chief Officer in command

Captain Nigel Budd

Chief Officer Nigel A Budd RFA

19 May 2003 transit Suez Canal northbound

28 May 2003 while in English Channel responded to PAN radio call from Cap Griz Nez - released from call after 41 minutes 

1 June 2003 returned to Marchwood on completion of Operation Telic duties

12 June 2003 arrived Portsmouth to destore prior to being returned to her owners

2 July 2003 final arrival at Marchwood Military port

9 July 2003 sailed Marchwood

11 July 2003 entered Harland & Woolf dry dock, Belfast for dry docking and return to owners

7 August 2003 returned to owners at Belfast and reverted to her original name Celestine

 

Celestine

mv Celestine on 11 June 2008

26 October 2008 berthed at Rosslare Harbour

20 January 2011 berthed at Antwerp

1 February 2012 off El Ferrol, Spain while on passage from Lagos, Nigeria to Hamburg

29 April 2012 berthed at Lagos, Nigeria

2 May 2012 sailed Lagos for Dakar

12 August 2012 - due at EEMSHAVEN, Holland this day

27 August 2012 berthed at Lagos, Nigeria

16 September 2013 at Purfleet, Essex

17 September 2013 berthed at Antwerp sailed the next day

26 September 2013 sailed Dakar

20 November 2013 berthed at Purfleet

21 November 2013 sailed Purfleet to Wandelaar, Antwerp

22 November 2013 sailed Antwerp

30 November 2013 berthed at Dakar sailing again the same day

19 December 2013 berthed at Dublin sailing the same day to Purfleet

10 July 2014 sailed Zeebrugge

11 July 2014 berthed at Purfleet sailing later the same day

12 July 2014 berthed at Rotterdam sailing later the same day to Rozenburg

2 November 2014 on passage from Zebrugge to Purfleet

10 November 2014 sailed Purfleet for Rotterdam

14 November 2014 sailed Zebrugge for Purfleet

17 November 2014 sailed Purfleet for Rotterdam

18 November sailed Zebrugge for Purfleet

9 January 2015 sailed Zebrugge for Gothenburg

5 February 2015 sailed Zebrugge for Gothenburg

20 August 2015 berthed at Zeebrugge from Gothenburg

20 August 2015 sailed Zebrugge for Gothenburg arriving 22 August 2015

22 August 2015 sailed Gothenburg for Zebrugge

3 September 2015 sailed Zebrugge to Gothenburg

5 September 2015 sailed Gothenburg to Zebrugge

8 December 2015 at Zebrugge

10 December 2015 at Gothenburg

12 December 2015 at Zebrugge

13 December 2015 at Gothenburg

15 December 2015 at Zebrugge

26 May 2016 sailed Dagenham

27 May 2016 at Vlissingen

22 June 2016 arrived at Dagenham sailing later the same day

23 June 2016 arrived at Antwerp

23 April 2017 at Immingham

5 May 2017 at Dagenham, Essex

7 May 2017 berthed at Antwerp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

 

1. Total distance sailed as a Royal Fleet Auxiliary 401,596 nautical miles

2. Was one of 6 sisterships built for Cobelfret, the others being  CELANDINE, CLEMENTINE, MELUSINE, VALENTINE and VICTORINE

 

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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