Reproduced with permission of the MOD


RFA Tidepool


Subsequent name:                    ALMIRANTE JORGE MONTT

Official Number:                        304555

Class:                                       IMPROVED TIDE CLASS Fleet Replenishment Tanker

Pennant No:                              A76  AO52

Laid down:                                4 December 1961
Builder:                                     Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn on Tyne
Launched:                                 11 December 1962

Into Service:                              28 June 1963
Out of service:                           13 August 1982
Fate:                                         Sold to Chile

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

Background Data: Authorised under the 1961/62 Navy Estimates, the two ships in this Class were developed from the original TIDE CLASS and were highly specialised ships for fuelling and storing naval vessels at sea and were capable of high performance under rigorous service conditions. Their capability was further enhanced as they were the first front-line RFA’s to have a single-spot 50 ft x 70 ft helicopter flight deck and full hangar arrangements incorporated into their design.

Involved in the 2nd and 3rd Cod Wars and also served on the Beira Patrol

29 October 1962 Mr E Burke RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

19 March 1963 Captain J A Dines RD RFA (Commander RNR) appointed as Master

2 July 1963 sailed from the Tyne for Devonport to bunker.

4 July 1963 maiden voyage  Devonport to Trinidad

20 August 1963 supported the carrier HMCS BONAVENTURE in the English Channel

September 1963 visited the International Maritime Exhibition at Kiel along with the survey ship HMS SCOTT

24 June 1964 Captain John Ditchburn RFA appointed as Master

18 July 1964 alongside at Newcastle on Tyne

4 September 1964 at Portland

5 February 1965 alongside at Singapore

25 March 1965 pumpover with HMAS SUPPLY

May 1965 supported Operation Seahorse - a SEATO maritime operation in the South China Sea along with RFA’s RELIANT (2), RESURGENT and TIDEREACH 

15 June 1965 during Exercise Windy Weather off Labuan RAS'ed with HMAS YARRA

25 June 1965 Mr Ken Robinson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 August 1965 Captain A R Wheeler RD RFA appointed as Master

19 November 1965 berthed at Glasgow for refit

28 December 1965 at Portsmouth (see note 1)

28 January 1966 off Singapore RAS'ed with HMS ALBION and HMAS VENDETTA




1 March 1966 at SIngapore (see note 1)

3 March 1966 while at anchor refuelled HMAS HAWK

17 March 1966 along with RFA’s RELIANT (2) and RESURGENT was in support of the destroyer HMS CAMBRIAN and the frigate HMS PLYMOUTH on the Beira Patrol in the Mozambique Channel

20 May 1966 arrived at Singapore Dockyard after 80 days at sea supporting RN units on the Beira oil blockade

1 July 1966 in the Singapore Strait RASed with HMAS DERWENT

21 July 1966 in the Singapore Strait RASed with HMAS DERWENT

6 August 1966 Captain P T Taylor RFA appointed as Master

30 August 1966 off Tawau RASed with HMAS PARRAMATTA

19 September 1966 in collision with a Japanese cargo ship in fog off Yokohama harbour. There were no casualities

20 September 1966 the Birmingham Daily Post reported that ...


Birham Daily Post 20 9 1966


27 October 1966 ships helicopter Wessex HAS1 No: XM926 when operating off Queensland made a precautionary landing on HMAS MELBOURNE

12 April 1967 Mr T J W Humphrey RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

June 1967 claimed to have undertaken the highest level RAS when she replenished the destroyer HMS HAMPSHIRE in the Welland Canal. With RN ships attended the EXPO 67 in Montreal, Canada

18 December 1967 entered the Princess dry dock of Cammell Laird for her first special survey and for extensive deck, engine, boiler and electrical repairs. Seven shell plates had to be renewed and her RAS gear overhauled. The contract required completion in 35 days

19 December 1967 Captain C G D Barker RFA appointed as Master

12 February 1968 off Freetown rendevouzed with HMS HERMES

11 April 1968 Mr P Ryan RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 July 1968 at Rosyth

27 August 1968 at Plymouth (see Note 1)

30 September 1968 at Plymouth

November 1968 took part in Naval Exercises in the Mediterranean with 17 RN vessels and 33 other ships from Greece, Italy, the USA and France together with RFA's OLWEN (2), OLMEDA, LYNESS and RESOURCE

3 January 1969 at South Shields, River Tyne

8 April 1969 at Plymouth

20 April 1969 to 2 May 1969 took part in a NATO exercise in the Mediterranean with 60 warships and 300 aircraft from five nations including one RN frigate - HMS LYNX

17 May 1969 RASed with HMS BULWALK and then berthed at Malta

21 October 1969 RASed and heavy jackstay transfer wiith HMAS YARRA in the Singapore Exercise Area

25/26 November 1969 off Pedjantan Island RAS'ed HMAS's DUCHESS and SYDNEY while the warships were on passge between Gaspar Strait and Vung Tau, Vietnam


RFA Tidepool RASes with HMAS SYDNEY

29 December 1969 Humanitarian aid - her Doctor was transferred to the frigate HMS CHICHESTER by helicopter to assist in the treatment of burns casualties resulting from an explosion aboard the Shell tanker MACTRA in the Mozambique Channel

30 December 1969 all casualties from the explosion had been transferred to the tanker TEXACO TRINIDAD and the Doctor and an LMA from HMS CHICHESTER were transferred by seaboat to her to tend to the casualties who were later flown by helicopter from the frigate HMS EURYALUS to Beira Airport where ambulances awaited to transport them to hospital

2 May 1970 at Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty with RFA BROWN RANGER berthed outboard of her

21 November 1970 at Plymouth

18 January 1971 when off Lands End a Wessex HAS1 helicopter no: XM331 when stowed in the hanger was damaged when the ship rolled and the stabilizer struck the door frame

26 February 1971 at Falmouth

1 April 1971 at Falmouth

May 1971 in the Atlantic Ocean 200 n.miles from the Sicilies took part in scientific trials with the deliberate spilling of a small quantity of FFO into the sea under strictly controlled conditions and monitored by naval scientists from the Admiralty Oil Laboratory, the Admiralty Materials Labaoratory and the Hydrographic Department. A Naval helicopter from RNAS Culdrose also took part

19 May 1971 berthed at Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty, Portsmouth

5 October 1971 RASed with HMAS's SYDNEY and SWAN while they were on passage from Australia to Vung Tau, Vietnam

30 October 1971 took part in the final steam past of the Far East Fleet in the Singapore Straits after the closure of the naval base there along with 6 other RFA’s

12 February 1972 at Falmouth

29 June 1972 visited Pitcairn Island, Pacific to deliver four Royal Engineers

10 December 1972 in Operation Zealous - on standby off East Africa in case of a requirement to evacuate British nationals from Uganda - along with RFA’s TIDESURGE and TIDEREACH

July 1973 deployed together with RFA's RETAINER and OLNA in Joint Maritime Course 168

28 October 1973 deployed in support of RN units off Iceland during 2nd Cod War until 6 November 1973

6 September 1974 at Gibraltar

9 September 1974 sailed Gibraltar for Plymouth arriving 12 September 1974

13 September 1974 moved from Plymouth Sound to Yonderberry Jetty

15 September 1974 to Cawsand Bay at anchor

16 September 1974 sailed on NATO exercise with RFA REGENT, HMS TIGER and HMS FEARLESS

17 September 1974 still on NATO exercise, joined by HMS HERMES and three Dutch frigates

18 September 1974 RASed with all ships on NATO exercise while being monitored by Russian 'spy' trawler

19 September 1974 arrived Invergordon and loaded from RFA DEWDALE. Sailed at 17:30hrs to NATO exercise.

20 September 1974 RASed with RN and Dutch naval units on NATO exercise

21 September 1974 refuelled by RFA PEARLEAF (2) in North Atlantic off Iceland - monitored by Russian Destroyer and 'Spy' trawler all day

22 September 1974 off Norway RASed with RFA REGENT, RN and Dutch naval units

23 September 1974 exercised with US and Swedish aircraft - Russian destroyer still in company

24 September 1974 0930hrs Russian trawler on deliberate collision course. 1200hrs RAS'ed with USS Cone (DD866)

25 September 1974 RASed with HMS HERMES and Dutch naval units

26 September 1974 RASed with HMS TIGER and HMS FEARLESS

27 September 1974 RASed with Dutch units

30 September 1974 anchored off Copenhagen until 7 October 1974

7 October 1974 sailed Copenhagen


9 October 1974 berthed on Gosport oil jetty until 15 October 1974 to sea

16 October 1974 RASed HMS TIGER in the North Sea

17 October 1974 off the Firth of Forth RASed HMS CHARYBIDIS to starboard, HMS GURKHA to port and HMS BACCHANTE astern. Then sailed for Rotterdam

18 October 1974 berthed at Petrolhaven No 1 Pernis (Shell Refinery) until 21 October 1974

21 October 1974 sailed Rotterdam 

22 October 1974 off Plymouth RASed HMS HERMES and RFA RETAINER

23 October 1974 involved in a 'board & tow' exercise with HMS HERMES. Operation 'County Fair' commenced. RASed with HMS's FEARLESS, HERMIONE and DIDO

24 October 1974 involved in exercises off the Dorset Coast. RAS'ed Dutch frigate VANNES and with a Russian trawler in company

25 October 1974 exercise complete to Portland - at anchor until 28 October 1974

28 October 1974 sailed Portland for Portsmouth arrived next day - berthed Gosport oil jetty

4 November 1974 sailed Portsmouth for Clyde area

6 November 1974 in Clyde area - RASed HMS JUNO and HMS GURKHA with Russian ships around all day.

12 November 1974 berthed at Rosyth until 19 November 1974 - sailed

20 November 1974 RASed HMS HERMES

22 November 1974 with NATO fleet in Moray Firth - RASed HMS JUNO and French destroyer

23 November 1974 RASed HMS GLAMORGAN, German Frigate LUTJENS, Dutch Frigate VANNES - towards Scapa Flow

24 November 1974 at anchor Scapa Flow

25 November 1974 sailed Scapa Flow - RASed with HMSs RHYL, GLAMORGAN and JUNO together with Dutch, German and French naval units

27 November 1974 RASed HMS HERMES and a Dutch naval unit.

29 November 1974 berthed at Rosyth exercise complete

14 May 1975 during a RAS in the Mediterranean in collision with the commando carrier HMS BULWARK



(image Crown Copyright via Lt Cdr Lester May RN)


16 May 1975 at anchor at Malta pending repairs to damage after her collision with HMS BULWARK

Tidepool 1 bump

Tidepool 2 bump

1975 ran aground in Brodick Bay but was subsequently refloated

19 August 1975 at the River Tyne

25 August 1975 at Rosyth

29 November 1975 deployed in support of HMS's FALMOUTH, BRIGHTON and LEOPARD off Iceland during 3rd Cod War until 13 December 1975

30 November 1975 while off Iceland - was RASing with HMS FALMOUTH was hit by two large waves broke over the fo'c'sle. Five of the crew were injured. Those injured were landed at Faero Islands for treatmnent and for the frigate to complete refuelling

6 December 1975 the tanker's Wessex 3 Helicopter detected the Icelandinc Gun Boat Thor approaching British fishing vessels.

8 December 1975 HMS GALATEA joined the RN ships being supported off Iceland

5 January 1976 deployed in support of RN units off Iceland during 3rd Cod War until 15 January 1976

14 January 1976 off Iceland delivered mail to HMS BACCHANTE by light jackstay

8 February 1976 at Invergordon

16 February 1976 Wessex HAS1 helicopter No: XP137 detached to RFA TIDEPOOL for Icelandic Patrol duties

21 February 1976 1st Electrical Officer Robert G Bright RFA discharged dead

23 February 1976 deployed in support of RN units off Iceland during 3rd Cod War until 23 March 1976

2 March 1976 off Iceland RASed with HMS BACCHANTE

5 March 1976 whilst refuelling the frigate HMS NAIAD during the Third Cod War, the two ships had to conduct an emergency breakaway when the Icelandic gunboat BALDUR positioned herself eight cables ahead of them and stopped dead in the water. BALDUR then crossed two cables ahead of TIDEPOOL

26 March 1976 at Rosyth

23 April 1976 deployed in support of RN units off Iceland during 3rd Cod War until 25 May 1976

6 June 1976 berthed on the River Tyne

17 August 1976 at Plymouth

26 August 1976 berthed on Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty

28 September 1976 berthed on Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty

23 January 1977 berthed on Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty

25 January 1977 along with RFA’s GREEN ROVER and STROMNESS sailed Devonport as part of Task Group 317.5 led by the helicopter cruiser HMS TIGER

12 June 1977 RASed with HMAS BRISBANE

5 September 1977 along with RFA’s GREY ROVER, REGENT and TARBATNESS sailed Portsmouth as part of Task Group 317.6 led by the helicopter cruiser HMS TIGER

4 December 1977 HMS TIGER, RFA REGENT joining the Task Group of RAN & RN ships together with RFA TARBATNESS on passage to Western Australia

6 December 1977 engaged in a pump over to HMAS SUPPLY when 960 tons of Diesel was supplied using 2 jackstay rigs with Quick Release Couplings. RFA TARBARTNESS detached from the Task Group

8 December 1977 berthed at Fremantle together with HMS TIGER, RFA REGENT and HMAS STALWART

12 December 1977 sailed Fremantle to Hobart, Tasmania joining HMS RHYL and RFA TARBATNESS

10 April 1978 at Malta loaded a Sea King Helicopter XV574 (ex HMS TIGER) which had ditched in the Persian Gulf on 30 March 1938 for onward delivery to the RN Aircraft Yard Fleetlands

22 February 1979 berthed at Portsmouth

23 February 1979 Captain Rex A Cooper RFA appointed as Master

26 July 1979 at Portland

14 October 1979 at Gibraltar

13 July 1981 at Portsmouth

18 January 1982 at North Shields

10 February 1982 sailed North Shields after a refit in preparation for sale

22 February 1982 sailed Portsmouth with a mixed RFA and Chilean crew after sale to the Chilean Navy for £1.8m as a Defence Economy Measure. Proceeded to Portland for a brief work-up prior to heading for Chile.

4 April 1982 was recalled after arriving at Arica for handover to the Chilean Navy and sailed soon after arrival to proceed to Balboa enroute for service during Operation Corporate- the Falklands Conflict. Transitted the Panama Canal under cover of  darkness and headed for Curacao to load stores, fuel, discharge 6 containers of Chilean navy personnel  effects and to re-crew fully as an RFA.

14 April 1982 arrived Willemstad, Curacao

15 April 1982 approx 40 additional RFA personnel flew out from the U.K. to Willemstad

17 April 1982 sailed Cauracao

26 April 1982 arrived Ascension Island and embarked E Flight 845 NAS - 2 x Wessex HU5 helicopters

6 May 1982 sailed Ascension Island in company with RFA PLUMLEAF (2) and HM frigates ARDENT and ARGONAUT. RASed with ss Canberra

11 May 1982 joined the Amphibious Group

12 May 1982 RASed with ss Canberra, HMS FEARLESS and HMS INTREPID

13 May 1982 entered the TEZ (Total Exclusion Zone) around the Falkland Islands

13 May 1982 while preparing to RAS with HMS AMBUSCADE sheered across in front of the frigate causing a collision. No major damage reported

19 May 1982 RASed with HMS FEARLESS

20 May 1982 RASed with HMS INTREPID

30 May 1982 RASed with HMS INTREPID - emergency breakaway

31 May 1982 in San Carlos Water refuelled HMS FEARLESS

13 June 1982 RASed with ss Canberra

14 June 1982 RASed with the STUFT ship Atlantic Causeway

22 June 1982 RASed with HMS EXETER

26 June 1982 RASed with HMS EXETER

4 July 1982 RASed with HMS BRISTOL

1982 - Battle Honour - Falklands 1982 granted.

13 August 1982 was finally delivered to the Chilean Navy at Talcahuano and was renamed ALMIRANTE JORGE MONTT (AO 52). Her RFA Chief Engineer remained behind after the rest of the RFA crew had departed to oversee essential repairs, etc required to bring the ship back to the condition it had been in prior to departure U.K. as it had suffered a fair amount of collision and weather damage during Operation Corporate

Ex Tidepool in Chile


15 December 1997 removed from the Chilean Navy List as she proved very expensive to run.

1999 sold for disposal



1. Locations kindly provided by Bosun George Collings RFA (Retired) from his Discharge Book



Additional information

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