Black Rover and Gold Rover, the last of five Rover-class ships built for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the late 1960s/early 1970 have now been decommissioned in readiness for the new Tides – 43 years after first pumping oil into the tanks of a Royal Navy warship.
In recent times, the Rovers have spent the bulk of their time south of the Equator, providing fuel for Royal Navy vessels on patrol in the South Atlantic.
After 43 years supporting Royal Navy operations around the globe, RFA Gold Rover has reached the end of her lengthy and distinguished career. It marks the end of four decades of service from the RFA tanker which has supported drugs busts, humanitarian relief missions and sea rescues in addition to her core role of replenishing the Royal Navy’s fleet.
The single hulled tanker makes way for the double-hulled RFA Tidespring and her three sisters – Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce.