See articles below. Has anyone bothered to tell the Tristanians that
total or partial evacuation "may need to be considered"?
UK Ministry of Defence
Equipment and Logistics
Lyme Bay in Tristan da Cunha harbour repair mission
31 Jan 08
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessel Lyme Bay is preparing to sail
to the aid of people living in one of the world's most isolated
communities, Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean.
Lyme Bay, accompanied by a team of 40 Royal Engineers plus a
detachment from the Royal Logistic Corps and a medical support team
from the Royal Navy, will transport materials that can be used to
carry out urgent repairs to the main harbour. The operation is a joint
Government response involving the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the
Department for International Development (who are funding the work)
Tristan da Cunha is located 1,800 miles (2,897km) west of Cape Town in
the South Atlantic and nearly 5,000 miles (8,047km) from Portland,
where RFA Lyme Bay was berthed when re-tasked at short notice to
support the repair of the harbour, damaged by the South Atlantic swell
and in need of temporary repairs prior to a major refurbishment this
RFA Lyme Bay will transport 150 pallets of cement, a number of
construction machines such as bulldozers, stone crushers and cement
mixers, and landing craft to move the stores and people ashore. The
ship will leave Portland this week to collect additional stores and
personnel en-route before reaching the Islands towards the end of
Work will begin immediately and will hopefully complete before the
onset of the Austral winter on 31 March 2008, when it is increasingly
likely that access and the ability to conduct repairs will become
unviable due to the sea conditions.
The harbour is the principal gateway to the islands, providing access
for people, supplies and trade - its loss would have serious
consequences and would create difficulties for the islanders, who are
wholly self-supporting and have an economy based on fishing and tourism.
The volcanic island group consists of Tristan, the main island,
Inaccessible, Nightingale, Middle and Stoltenhoff, and a further
island, Gough, lies some 320km South-West of Tristan.
"Lyme Bay will operate off the harbour for about a month in probably
difficult sea conditions to offload the necessary equipment stores and
provide a base for the medical and engineering teams involved."
RFA Lyme Bay Commanding Officer Captain Peter M Farmer said:
"This short-notice task indicates perfectly the utility,
versatility and facilities of this class of ship. I recall saying at
the handing over ceremony in Portland Port last year that these ships
offer not just a very capable amphibious platform, but that utility
transfers easily to other arenas including humanitarian effort.
"Lyme Bay will operate off the harbour for about a month in
probably difficult sea conditions to offload the necessary equipment
stores and provide a base for the medical and engineering teams
involved. The isolation of the community brings its own challenges and
the ship's company are thoroughly looking forward to the task and
hopefully a successful outcome for the islanders."
RFA Lyme Bay, the newest of four landing ships, was handed over to the
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service in a major ceremony at Portland Port in
Dorset in August 2007. Since then she has continued on her new-ship
acceptance trials programme and supporting the Royal Marines winter
training programme in Norway.
Her links to the Dorset and Somerset area have been enhanced by formal
affiliations, which include the county town of Dorchester in Dorset,
the Sea Cadet Corps in Bridport, Dorset, Glastonbury and Yeovil both
in Somerset, and Royal Naval Associations in both Dorchester and
In an article apparently based on the above article but attributed
to the Royal Navy, MercoPress in Uruguay reports alarmingly:
Monday, February 4, 2008
Direct Link: http://www.mercopress.com/vernoticia.do?id=12548&formato=html
RFA Lyme Bay has sailed on a mission to Tristan da Cunha
The MoD reported that RFA Lyme Bay was preparing to sail to Tristan da
Cunha, where urgent repairs to the main harbour are required.
Those embarked include 40 Royal Engineers, a Royal Logistic Corps
detachment and a medical support team from the Royal Navy. Lyme Bay is
also carrying cement and plant such as bulldozers and cement mixers.
Tristan da Cunha is the world's most isolated community, situated 1800
miles west of Cape Town in the South Atlantic and nearly 5,000 miles
from Portland, Lyme Bay's home port.
Their harbour is the principal method of access to the islanders for
people, supplies and trade, its loss would result in some privation
and difficulties for the islanders and may result in a total or
partial evacuation to be considered. It has been undermined by the
South Atlantic swell and is in need of temporary repair prior to a
major refurbishment due to commence in the summer
Tristan and five smaller islands are dependencies of St Helena and
thus part of the UK's Overseas Territories. According to the MoD, a
total or partial evacuation of Tristan's 270 inhabitants "may need to
be considered". (RN)
Great picture of the Lyme Bay:
Robert S. Conrich, ACIArb
Anguilla AI-0264 bob@...
British West Indies Tel: 1 264 497 2505