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Year Of Sea


RFA Argus

Navy ship visits Mersey

By Paul Coslett
One of the Ministry of Defence's largest ships will be opening its doors to the public as part of a visit to the Mersey.


Merseysiders will get the chance to look around one of the UK's largest warships when it pays a visit to Liverpool. Royal Fleet Auxiliary Argus will spend five days moored in Liverpool’s Canada dock as part of a stay to commemorate 100 years of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

RFA Argus is over 175 metres in length, with a crew of 80 RFA officers and ratings plus 50 Royal Navy personnel. The ship is able to operate as a small aircraft carrier with a flight deck that allows her to carry and launch all types of helicopter. Argus’ main peacetime role is to provide specialist training facilities for the navy’s Fleet Air Arm, while in wartime Argus’ function is to act as a casualty reception centre with an on board hospital capable of taking 100 casualties. Two large lifts in the flight deck serve four hangar spaces below, while a mini air traffic control centre keeps a track of all air movements around the ship.

Argus’ commanding officer Captain Stuart Cant says “I welcome the opportunity to come back to Liverpool, the place many of us older seafarers see as the centre of the maritime universe.

“My crew and I are looking forward to showing people around our ship, including our very impressive aviation and hospital facilities.”

While in Liverpool Argus will host visits from a number of Maritime groups and will be open to visitors from 1pm until 5pm on Sunday August 14th in Canada dock, branch three.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary service was set up in 1905 as a civilian manned fleet of ships whose role was to supply the Royal Navy with food, fuel and water. Argus’ visit will mark 100 years of the service and follows on from her participation in the International Fleet Review in the Solent as part of the Trafalgar 200 celebrations.

last updated: 05/08/05
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