Gipsy Moth crew meet up with Royal Navy Frigate off East Africa
After being threatened by pirates in the Gulf of Aden in February, the crew of Gipsy Moth IV were certainly glad to meet up with the Royal Navy frigate HMS Cornwall and Royal Fleet Auxiliary replenishment ship RFA Fort Austin. Gipsy Moth met the vessels off the coast of East Africa as she headed north towards the Red Sea.
HMS Cornwall and RFA Fort Austin were patrolling in the Gulf of Aden and located Gipsy Moth IV with the use of Cornwall’s Lynx helicopter. The Royal Navy vessels were operating as part of Combined Task Force 150, the coalition maritime force that conducts maritime security operations (MSO) in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean. Coalition maritime forces in the area conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that all commercial shipping could operate freely while transiting the region.
Young members of Gipsy Moth’s crew took the opportunity to come onboard HMS Cornwall for a shower and some hearty Navy food before having a tour around the ship. Two of HMS Cornwall’s Marine Engineers, Chief Petty Officer Briggs and Petty Officer Winfindale, took the opportunity to give the Gipsy Moth crew a helping hand by fixing their defective water making equipment.
Captain of HMS Cornwall, Commander Jeremy Woods, spoke to Gipsy Moth’s Skipper John Jeffrey over the radio. Commander Woods said: “It was a privilege to sail with Gipsy Moth for a few hours. The size contrast between a 54ft sailing yacht and a 480ft long warship was apparent, but it is clear that they both need teamwork and dedication to set to sea! We wish them luck on their adventures north”.