The Royal Navy bid farewell to Sandown-class minehunters HMS Ramsey and HMS Blyth, fifteen years after they formed the vanguard of the Royal Navy’s minehunting mission in the Persian Gulf.
The two sister ships were decommissioned in Rosyth, after having served extensively during careers spanning 21 years and 175,000 miles for Ramsey, and 185,000 miles over 20 years for Blyth.
HMS Ramsey left her home port at Faslane for the final time in August last year, sailing to Rosyth where she has undergone work to prepare her for formal decommissioning. Blyth passed down Gareloch for the last time a month ago.
The two ships were the first sent to Bahrain when the government decided a permanent minehunter presence was required in the Gulf – a presence which continues to this day.
“HMS Ramsey has given 21 years of operational service to the Royal Navy and throughout her life it has been the members of her ship’s company, the people, who have made her what she is,” Ramsey’s final commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Joel Roberts, said.
The ships are being replaced by the expanding Project Wilton drive to introduce autonomous/uncrewed boats and systems into minehunting – an initiative being pioneered at Faslane where three boats are already in service.
Blyth and Ramsey meanwhile will enjoy a fresh lease of life in the Black Sea. Once further work is completed on the two vessels, they’ll be transferred to the Ukrainian Navy.
Meanwhile following summer leave, Blyth’s crew will take charge of HMS Grimsby for another period of operations later in the year.