Naval gazing beside the Thames


Last week’s arrival of the Italian Navy Destroyer (see post here) was just the latest in a long line of naval vessels to have visited London over the last few years.

In fact ships from at least 17 different, mainly NATO, countries have visited over the last 6 years with vessels ranging in type and size from smaller patrol craft and robot minesweepers all the way up to helicopter carriers and light aircraft carriers.

HMS Puncher P291 (1) @ Gallions Reach 01-04-14

HMS Illustrious R06 @ Gallions Reach 06-05-09

The types of vessels have also ranged from a submarine to sail training ships and whilst most visits entail just one or two vessels there have been a few occasions when much larger numbers have arrived.

HNLMS Bruinvis S810 @ Gallions Reach 21-12-12

USCG Eagle WIX327 @ Gallions Reach 21-06-11

Such was the case in May 2013 when the French Navy sent the entire 8 ship class of Schoolships and more recently in May 2014 the German Navy sent a Minesweeper flotilla with 10 ships from 5 different classes.

FS Tigre A754 @ Gallions Reach 03-06-13

FGS Auerbach-Opf M1093 (4) @ Gallions Reach 15-05-14

When visiting London the naval vessels use a variety of mooring locations, as follows:

  • Alongside HMS Belfast in the Upper Pool

HMS Argyll F231 (1) @ Tower Bridge 16-01-14

  • Alongside HMS President in the Lower Pool

LCVP Mk5 B7 (1) @ HMS President 01-06-14

  • Greenwich ship tier (for the largest vessels that cannot transit further upstream)

HMS Ocean (L12) @ Greenwich 23-07-12

  • West India Dock

ITS Luigi Durand de la Penne D560 (5) @ Canary Wharf 08-08-14

  • Royal Docks (typically in connection with events at the Excel exhibition centre)

Royal Victoria Dock Naval Base (AKA Excel) 12-09-13

Luckily for me they all pass Gallions Point.

As is to be expected the Royal Navy has contributed the most with a total of 34 different vessels over the last 6 years with some having visited several times over that period.

HMS Tyne P281 (2) @ KGV Lock 08-09-13

For a non-coastal city London doesn’t fare too badly when it comes to visiting navy vessels and long may that continue. More pictures can be found here.

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3 thoughts on “Naval gazing beside the Thames

  1. Pingback: Svitzer on Thames | Dock, Lock and River

  2. Pingback: SNMCMG1 – Many shades of grey | Dock, Lock and River

  3. Pingback: INS Tarkash F50 visits London | Dock, Lock and River

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