Hearing the music booming up from Maidencombe Bay, I assumed that it was one of the 'Booze Cruises' which ply their trade across Babbacombe Bay and Tor Bay in the summer months. I also assumed that the River class warship was HMS Severn which has been a regular visitor to our waters over the past few months. BONG! Completely wrong on both counts! The pleasure craft was in fact, MV The Fairmile, a refitted Rescue Motor Launch number 497 from WWII. It was also formerly one of the Western Lady class Torquay to Brixham ferries.
The warship was HMS Tyne (P281) and was making her first visit to Babbacombe Bay in place of the other River-class offshore patrol vessel, HMS Severn (P282) which has made multiple visits over the past months. Unusually, she was showing her AIS (Automatic Identification System) which has always been turned off for HMS Severn.
|RML 497 (1941) MV Western Lady III (1947) MV The Fairmile (2009)|
|HMS Tyne (P281)|