Wednesday, 27 June 2018

50% of UK Revenue Cutters deployed to Greece

Those of you familiar with North Norfolk will at some stage have come across the horses of the Household Cavalry on holiday. In return for having to live in London's ugliest building (by the hubristic brutalist Basil Spence), having to stand still for long periods outside Horse Guards as idiotic tourists self-snap and caparison alarmingly close, and at getting a sniff of Hyde Park but never being allowed to get a full gallop on, the doughty chargers are rewarded with a few weeks a year cantering naked in the North Sea surf, galloping down wide dawn beaches with damp sand under their hooves and pigging out on sweet fresh grass well-balanced with mash and hay. Then it's back to London. 

The same must apply to the crews of the UK's revenue cutters. Not only have Dutch shipbuilders Damen constructed these for standards of crew comfort unknown to the Royal Navy, with floating soundproof decks, 'box-in-box' suspended crew quarters and generous leisure space, but they also even have raft-mounted engines to reduce vibration so the crew can sleep more easily. Those domes at the stern aren't for tracking the pursuit of drug smugglers - they are TV satellite receivers, so the lads (and lasses?) don't miss a single world cup game. And that tube at the front isn't a gun but a fire-hose, designed to look like a gun.

But I guess that comfy beds, satellite TV and gourmet food just aren't enough for our Border Force afloat. What they really need is a month or so steaming between the Aegean islands on ink-dark seas, with Retsina and gay discos after their 9-to-5 shifts are done. To top up their tans and steam about searching for the few rubber boat people making the trip to the Greek islands from Turkey, and take them back.  

The problem is, the UK has only four revenue cutters - HMC Valiant, HMC Seeker, HMC Searcher and HMC Vigilant. Valiant has been on holiday in Greece since 2015, and it's been so much fun that another of the flotilla will join her there. Meaning half our total revenue cutters are away on holiday. And unlike the Household Cavalry's chargers, not just for a quick break. 

Nice work if you can get it. 

HMC Vigilant - will she win the Greek lottery?   

8 comments:

rapscallion said...

"but they also even have raft-mounted engines to reduce vibration so the crew can sleep more easily."

This is a bit out of order Radders. Rubber raft mounted machinery (of any description) has been standard practice for years in submarines. Even all my radio kit was mounted on rubber resilient mountings. It's not done for the convenience or otherwise of the crew, but more to prevent any noise escaping the vessel and thus giving away your position.

The rest of piece I can't vouch for, but let me tell you I'm glad my time was up before gay disco's and birds at sea became mandatory.

Raedwald said...

Ah, but you was a propah matelot, Raps

The blue ensign boys and girls are, at the end of the day, civil servants.

As a red ensign bloke, it's always been an honour and a joy to salute the white ensign, and an alert OOW who sends a crewman running aft to return the salute makes you stand six inches taller all day. I've never known anyone salute a revenue cutter, so perhaps I'm carrying a bit of bias and being unfair to them.

Anonymous said...

Rubber mounts on submarines may well be part of noise reduction in submarine design but in common with all UK warships their is a requirement to 'shock mount' equipment against underwater explosions.

Anoneumouse said...

Not quite correct on the household cavalry horses. When I was a donkey walloper in the 70's the horses used to regulaly get a gallop in Hyde park a 2 weeks vacation in Norfolk and another holiday for two weeks at Pirbright in Surrey and some times for a bit of further R&R a couple of long weekend in Melton Mowbray.
However,I agree with what you say a about Hyde park Bks a real abomination but handy for visits to the flesh pots of the Metropolis

Dadad said...

Holkham beach is the longest and the best for a horse holiday.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Be interesting to see a year's time lapse of the vessel movements on AIS eh?

cascadian said...

Normally I would belittle the pathetic yUK govt response, but in this case I believe this action to be very smart (which leads me to believe that the Maybe govt stumbled into it by mistake).

yUK should be doing all kinds of multilateral favours outside the EU remit with governments that are EU agnostic to illegal immigration, let yUK do a thousand favours for Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Hungary, Austria, Czechnia, Poland and others who are electing "populist" governments that show some concern for their native populations. One never knows when you might need to call in a favour.

These craft cost a pittance to operate, despite the purported "luxurious" living arrangements, and lets face it this the closest thing that yUK has to a navy these days.

Anonymous said...

Much as I support seafaring tradition I'm not sure if these vessels can still properly be called 'Revenue' Cutters as they are operated by UK Border Farce whose primary job it is to stamp passports, not HM Revenue & Customs who, as their title suggests, police the revenue.