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nd mean hospital – they don’t call them sick The reason? Krill. They seem drawn You do. Stand on Largs Bay capacious logistical chain, it isn’t easy getting offi cer Marvin Clarke. “It would be nice
ally bays in the RFA). to Largs Bay. “They keep clogging the bridge and you’ll be struck by the fresh produce (or spare parts and other to see Largs Bay here again.”
ue The Bays have arguably the best sea strainers,” he explains. “But it shows gadgetry and consoles. supplies for that matter…). Indeed, among those who have been
hospitals in the fl eet (apart from the they work.” You’ll be struck – and, to be perfectly Largs stocked up on bacon and impressed by what Largs brings to the
of dedicated casualty treatment facility in That aside, the Falklands environment honest, a little disappointed – by the size sausages before departing the UK party is the future head of the RAF, Air
ng Argus and Ocean’s impressive sickbay): is actually quite good for the landing of the ship’s wheel (really, really small – (“There’s nothing quite like British Marshal Stephen Dalton.
nd two wards, a small theatre and a ship – the cool, fresh air means “it’s more like a joystick on an aircraft). bangers,” LH(Admin Assistant) Henry He saw Fred, that most unfortunate of
ne treatment room/offi ce. actually quite pleasant in the machinery And next to it Graham points out), but mariners, become the most unfortunate
Thankfully, it’s only the latter which is spaces”. you’ll be struck
ant used most of the time. He has been involved with the Bay
ort “It’s more of a GP’s surgery – our guys class for the past eight years, from

there’s a shortage of of air travellers, falling out of the back
by two dials and
This is the fi rst time we
another, more important, of a Lynx; luckily, he was plucked from
levers moving taste of Blighty. Falkland Sound by an RAF Search and
ed are pretty healthy,” said Med Tech Stuart design and construction to realisation constantly – have had an opportunity “The biggest Rescue Sea King...
gs Hamer, a former RN medical assistant. and operation. even at anchor.
“In 1982 I was raring to get down “These ships are very good – they’ve
on this scale. It would
problem is beer,” 1/O …And he also witnessed the climax of
These are John Craig, Largs’ Cape Bayonet. “This is the epitome of the
yal here as a newly-qualifi ed medic. I never got three times the capability of their the controls be nice to see Largs Bay logistics and supply quality of the training which can be done
is did. It’s taken me 26 years to get to the predecessors,” the engineer adds. for the stern
Falklands. I’m over the moon to fi nally “One thing was kept in mind throughout
here again.
offi cer (half) jokes. here in the Falklands and Largs Bay has
thrusters which “If you have to hold shown she is hugely capable and very
ng get here.” their design – keep it simple.” determine not – Marvin Clarke
it. The medic’s normally on his own in ‘Their predecessors’, the fabled

offi cial receptions effective,” the air marshal said.
merely Largs’ – as we do – it For Largs herself, the exercise has
ey Largs’ hospital, but he’s been joined Knights of the Round Table, were speed through soon gets used given the ship and her company a raft
ve for some of this deployment by a Navy children of the 60s. Smaller, slower, less the water, but also her course (there is up and the prices down here are much of new experiences: a fi rst visit to the
on doctor. agile. But they did have one advantage no rudder). higher than back in the UK.” Falklands, the fi rst substantial exercise
“Because of the lack of ozone down over the Bays. And they work at anchor too, The supply offi cer had been looking with the Army, a chance to admire the
here, people don’t realise they can burn “There’s only one pressure gauge maintaining the ship’s position – forward to Christmas in Key West… crystal-clear waters and starkly-beautiful
he so much quicker,” said Surg Lt Ruth in the machinery control room here,” ‘hovering’ if you like – so she can load/ until the ship’s programme changed and landscape.
ell Boddy. “We’ve actually had more sunburn the engineer bemoans, surrounded by offl oad her troops and stores. she turned south. “Key West is quiet at “Cape Bayonet’s a short exercise, but
ur cases here than in the Caribbean” (as the computer displays, rollerballs, mice and With the winds in Falkland Sound, Christmas, but still 25 times more lively an extremely valuable one,” said Capt
an fl aking skin on my nose testifi es…). click buttons. “It’s a little disconcerting. they’re working overtime… which is than Mare Harbour…” Watts. “It’s almost as if the entire island
Flaking though it might be, my nose As engineers, we like to see dials.” good news for the local avian population, Key West’s loss was the Falklands’ is dedicated to it.
pic cannot detect (thanks to a cold) what 1/O Mark Royston-Tonks, in charge which is particularly grateful to the gain. “I think most people have learned how
ad, others aboard Largs can: the aroma of of Largs’ systems engineering – “the thrusters churning up the water and There’s no doubt that the ship and useful we are. These are fantastic ships
ely fi sh. best department on the ship: we fi x providing them with rich pickings. local forces have made full use of the to command – and there’s still a lot more
m. Down below, sighs Chief Offi cer everything” – adds: “We like to see If only rustling up scran for the ship’s chance to work together. that they can do.”
(Engineering) David Wardell, “it smells gauges, but you have to learn to trust the company was that easy… “This is the fi rst time we have had an Next month: HMS Clyde and RFA marina
s, I like a fi sh market”. technology.” Sitting at the end of an 8,000-mile opportunity on this scale,” says range Black Rover take centre stage
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