RFA Diligence




Reproduced with permission of the MOD


RFA Diligence


RFA Diligence profile



Previous name:                       Stena Inspector
Subsequent name:    

Official Number:                      399182                                                                       

Class:                                        Forward Repair Ship

Pennant No:                             A132

Laid down:                                24 January 1980
Builder:                                      Oresundsvarvet AB, Landskrona, Sweden
Launched:                                 3 April 1980

Into Service:                               12 March 1984
Out of service:


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  There is only a single ship of this type which was originally built as one of a Class of Rig Support Vessels for commercial owners. She was requisitioned during the Falklands Conflict and was then purchased the following year and underwent a full conversion for her new role.


March 1979  an order was placed by Rederi AB Concordia, Stockholm for 4 highly sophisticated diving and  support vessels which was worth over $100m.

28 January 1980  laid down.

3 April 1980  launched by Oresundsvsrvet AB, Landskrona as Yard Nr: 276 named STENA INSPECTOR for Rederi A/B Concordia, (Stena Line AB, Managers) Stockholm.

12 January 1981 completed

1982 was transferred to Stena Carribean Line Ltd (Stena (UK) Ltd, Managers) London.

8 April 1982 requisitioned for service during Operation Corporate- the Falklands Conflict – and was recalled from her normal duties in the Thistle Oil Field in the North Sea.

16 April 1982 sailed Portsmouth for service during Operation Corporate after conversion into a repair ship.

25 May 1982 chartered by MoD (N) for service as a Fleet Repair Ship.

6 June 1982 sailed Charleston, South Carolina for the Falklands. Her Master was Captain David Ede



mv Stena Inspector during the Falkland’s conflict – IWM Copyright

Stena Insp cover

mv Stena Inspector’s Naval Party 2010 during Operation Corporate


10 July 1982 the Aberdeen Evening Express reported …


10 7 1982 Aberdeen Evn Exp Diligence

August 1982 used at Grytviken, South Georgia to repair jetties and ‘local real estate’. Also used in the recovery of the Argentinian submarine Santa Fe. Later used at the Falkland Islands.

31 October 1983 purchased by MoD (N).

12 November 1983 arrived on the Clyde for full conversion into a Forward Repair Ship by Clyde Dock Engineering, Govan.

3 May 1984 her Ship’s Badge was officially presented to her.

29 February 1984 conversion completed at a cost of £28m.

12 March 1984  formally renamed DILIGENCE at Portland and was officially accepted into RFA service. After a very brief work-up she sailed for the Falkland Islands to be based there.

16 March 1984 sailed Portland

17 March 1984 arrived Devonport for stores and sailed again that same evening

29 March 1984 arrived Ascension Island and sailed again that same evening

10 April 1984 arrived East Cove, Falkland Islands and remained there for just over 2½ years before returning home for refit

26 January 1986 at East Cove, Falkland Islands. Mr Kenneth Holder RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 May 1986 at East Cove, Falkland Islands

10 June 1986 at East Cove, Falkland Islands

12 June 1986 at East Cove, Falkland Islands

24 June 1986 at East Cove, Falkland Islands

23 September 1986 at East Cove, Falkland Islands

15 December 1986 sailed East Cove for the U.K.

26 December 1986 arrived Ascension Island

28 December 1986 sailed Ascension Island

6 January 1987 arrived Funchal, Madeira

9 January 1987 sailed Funchal, Maderia

13 January 1987 arrived Devonport to destore for refit

30 January 1987 sailed Devonport

1 February 1987 arrived Liverpool

5 May 1987 at Liverpool

23 May 1987 sailed Liverpool on completion of refit to restore and then undergo work-up at Portland

13 July 1987 sailed Portland on completion of work-up

24 July 1987 arrived Ascension Island

25 July 1987 sailed Ascension Island

5 August 1987 arrived East Cove, Falkland Islands

13 August 1987 recalled for service in the Arabian Gulf area to act as support ship for the HUNT CLASS minehunters during the Iran-Iraq War in Operation Cimnel.

15 August 1987 sailed East Cove, Falkland Islands

4 September 1987 arrived Mombasa

7 September 1987 sailed Mombasa for Arabian Gulf area and remained here until March 1989

29 April 1988 at Jebal Ali, UAE

5 September 1988 at Fujayrah, UAE HMS SOUTHAMPTON berthed alongside after she had been involved in a collision in the Strait of Hormuz with the P&O container ship TORBAY and damaged on 3 September 1988. The warship was extensively assisted with temporary repairs including the removal of the 4.5″ Mk8 mounting and the SeaDart launcher which were transfered to RFA DILIGENCE

10 September 1988 to 11 September 1988 towed HMS SOUTHAMPTON which was berthed alongside through the Straits of Hormuz to off Dubai remaining in international waters until diplomatic clearance was obtained.

26 September 1988 HMS SOUTHAMPTON was berthed alongside a ‘santitized’ berth in the port at Jebel Ali

28 September 1988 displomatic clearance was obtained. Damaged ammuntion was back-RASed to RFA Diligence

18 November 1988 berthed at Jebel Ali

4 March 1989  sailed Mina Raysut for Aden then Suez to transit to the Mediterranean

13 March 1989 sailed Port Said

17 May 1989 berthed at Naples

15 June 1989 sailed Gibraltar

19 June 1989  arrived Portsmouth

21 June 1989 sailed Portsmouth for Rosyth to destore for refit

4 August 1989 sailed Rosyth

7 August 1989 arrived North Shields for refit

28 October 1989 sailed North Shields on completion of refit to restore in Rosyth then work-up at Portland.

1989 was awarded an inscribed plaque from the General Council of British Shipping to commemorate her service on Armilla Pastrol between November 1986 and 20 August 1988 when the “Accompanying Policy” was in force. Other recipients were RFA’s APPLELEAF(3), BRAMBLELEAF(3), OLNA (3) ORANGELEAF(3) and TIDESPRING.

10 January 1990 sailed Portsmouth

14 January 1990 arrived Funchal

18 January 1990 sailed Funchal

26 January 1990 arrived Ascension Island and sailed again that same evening.

26 February 1990 arrived East Cove Military Port, Falkland Island

4 April 1990 berthed at East Cove Military Port, Falkland Island

8 August 1990 decision taken to deploy her to the Gulf, along with RFA’s FORT GRANGE and OLNA (3) following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait..

14 August 1990 sailed East Cove Military Port, Falkland Islands for service during Operation Granby – the Gulf War.

3 September 1990 arrived Mombasa for storing and enhancements..

8 September 1990 sailed Mombasa for the Gulf Area.

16 September 1990 arrived Jebel Ali and become the Base Repairship, with NP1600 embarked, stationed there for operations in the Gulf after Iraq invaded Kuwait

1 November 1990 at Jebel Ali

20 February 1991 supported the damaged US Naval ships USS Tripoli and USS Princeton after those ships were hit by mines in the Northern Gulf waters

9 April 1991 at Jebel Ali

11 April 1991 official Cease Fire came into force.

18 April 1991 sailed Jebel Ali on completion of Operation Granby duties

29 April 1991 arrived Port Louis, Mauritius

2 May 1991 sailed Port Louis

26 May 1991 returned to East Cove Military Port, Falkland Islands

1991 was awarded the Kuwait 1991 Battle Honour along with 10 other RFA’s

12 November 1992 sailed East Cove Military Port, Falkland Islands to return home for refit

30 November 1992 arrived Las Palmas

3 December 1992 sailed Las Palmas

9 December 1992 arrived Portsmouth to destore for refit

18 December 1992 sailed Portsmouth for refit in Middlesbrough

20 December 1992 arrived Middlesbrough

7 March 1993 Captain David Gerrard RFA appointed as Commanding Officer – temporary for sea trials


Captain David Gerrard RFA


22 March 1993  sailed Middlesbrough on completion of refit

24 March 1993 arrived Portsmouth to restore then to undergo work-up at Portland

March 1993 Captain Steven Hodgson RFA in command

27 May 1993 sailed Portland to return to the South Atlantic

13 June 1993 arrived Salvador, Brazil

18 June 1993 sailed Salvador

28 June 1993 arrived King Edward Point, Grytviken, South Georgia

1 July 1993 sailed King Edward Point

4 July 1993 arrived East Cove Military Port, Falkland Islands

17 November 1993 at East Cove Military Port, Falkland Islands

19 February 1994 at East Cove Military Port, Falkland Islands

9 May 1994 Captain Peter A Robinson RFA appointed as Commanding Officer

Capt Peter Robinson

Captain Peter A Robinson RFA

20 March 1995 Captain (E) Robert Settle RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

14 June 1995 at Guam

29 June 1995 sailed from Guam

5 July 1995 berthed at Chinhae, South Korea

14 July 1995 sailed from Chinhae, South Korea

24 July 1995 arrived at Singapore

17 August 1995 sailed from Singapore

22 August 1995 arrived at Hong Kong and anchored

30 August 1995 sailed from Hong Kong

6 September 1995 arrived at Singapore

9 September 1995 sailed from Singapore

10 September 1995 anchored off Tioman Island, Malaysia, South China Sea

23 September 1995 sailed from off Tioman Island, Malaysia, South China Sea

24 September 1995 arrived at Singapore

2 October 1995 sailed from Singapore

22 October 1995 in transit through the Suez Canal

23 October 1995 arrived at Limassol, Cyprus

26 October 1995 sailed from Limassol. Cyprus

30 October 1995 berthed at Split

5 November 1995 sailed from Split

10 November 1995 arrived at Gibraltar

11 November 1995 sailed from Gibraltar

15 November 1995 arrived at Portsmouth Harbour

8 December 1995 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

10 December 1995 arrived at Teesport

21 December 1996 at Portsmouth Harbour

11 March 1997 at Singapore. Mr Kenneth Holder RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

23 May 1997 berthed at Yokosuka, Japan

27 September 1997 Captain Roger Robinson-Brown RFA appointed as Commanding Officer

Capt RR B2

Captain Roger Robinson-Brown RFA

24 October 1997 at Portsmouth Dockyard

12 January 1998 sailed from Faslane for the Persian Gulf together with HMS’s SANDOWN, BRIDPORT and INVERNESS


Dili sail Faslane to Gulf 12 1 98 with Sandown Bridport Inverness

RFA Diligence sailing from Faslane

30 June 2000 Captain Peter Farmer RFA appointed as Commanding Officer


Captain Peter Farner

Captain Peter Farmer RFA


1 May 2001 to 5 May 2001 berthed at Las Palmas

28 August 2001 to 1 September 2011 berthed at Barcelona

September 2001 engaged on the Argonaut 2001 deployment together with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, fourteen other Royal Naval Warships and RFA’s FORT VICTORIA, BAYLEAF (3), SIR TRISTRAM, SIR BEDIVERE, SIR PERCIVALE, SIR GALAHAD (2), FORT AUSTIN, OAKLEAF (2) and FORT ROSALIE (2)

4 December 2002 arrived in Colombo from Singapore for a four day visit

January 2004 in refit in Singapore – the ship suffered a fire in the Auxiliary Machinery Space

Dil Fire 1



The second and third images above show the damage caused by the fire.
Both © Michael Woodfin – used with permission 

26 October 2004 Captain (X) Paul Whyte RFA appointed as Commanding Officer

Captain Paul Whyte on Argus in Faluth

Captain (X) Paul Whyte RFA

26 December 2004 sailed and provided humanitarian assistance to areas which suffered damage from the Asian tsunami

9 March 2005 berthed at Goa, India

20 April 2005 converted into a Forward Deployed Base for Iraqui Patrol Craft

11 July 2005 berthed at Gibraltar

December 2005 on station in the Gulf

19 April 2006 Captain Shaun Jones RFA appointed as Commanding Officer

Shaun Jones

Captain Shaun Jones RFA

26 April 2006 berthed alongside at Cape Town, South Africa

18 May 2006 arrived at Goa as part of the Aquila 06 Deployment which also included RFA FORT VICTORIA

17 June 2006 in dry dock at East London, South Africa

23 July 2006 berthed alongside at Rio De Janerio, Brazil

30 August 2006 at Gibraltar

22 September 2006 Captain Phillip T  Hanton RFA appointed as Commanding Officer

8 October 2006 sailed Gibraltar for engine trials and thence to Sierra Leone to meet up with the Vela 06 Deployment

7 November 2006 found 23 migrant refugees drifting in a small boat in the Atlantic 50 miles north of Lanzarote. Spanish search and rescue authorities collected the refugees

11 November 2006 at Casablanca, Morroco

13 November 2006 berthed at Gibraltar – sailed the following day

20 November 2006 arrived Portsmouth after a lengthy deployment

December 2006 at Portsmouth

12 January 2007 sailed Devonport for Birkenhead

15 January 2007 arrived Birkenhead for an extensive life extending refit costing £16m

27 September 2007 Captain Anthony McNally RFA appointed as Commanding Officer until 13 May 2008

27 November 2007 in Plymouth Sound

3 December 2007 at Devonport after refit

21 December 2007 arrived at Portsmouth

10 January 2008 sailed Portsmouth

17 January 2008 exercised with other units prior to the Orion 08 Deployment led by HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, thence to the Med and the Gulf

12 May 2008 Captain (X) David J Buck RFA appointed as Commanding Officer

Captain David Buck

Captain (X) David J Buck RFA

14 July 2008 took part in Exercise Sea Breeze at Odessa, Ukraine until 26 July 2008

5 August 2008 berthed at Gibraltar for maintenane period and crew change

19 October 2008 Captain (X) Anthony McNally RFA appointed as Commanding Officer until 2 May 2009

8 March 2009 berthed at Karachi, Pakistan

March 2009 participated in Exercise Aman off Pakistan

30 April 2009 Captain (X) Paul S Whyte MBE RFA appointed as Commanding Officer

6 August 2009 berthed at Gibraltar

9 August 2009 sailed Gibraltar

14 August 2009 berthed alongside at Marchwood Military port after Gulf duties to destore and then refit

26 August 2009 Captain Anthony McNally RFA appointed as Commanding Officer until 1 September 2009

30 August 2009 arrived Bidston, Merseyside

16 October 2009 entered No: 6 dock

4 January 2010 Captain Anthony McNally RFA appointed as Commanding Officer until 21 June 2010

11 February 2010 moved to Tranmere to complete refit

24 February 2010 entered Portsmouth Dockyard post refit

1 March 2010 arrived Portland

4 March 2010 sailed Portsmouth

April 2010 FOST training

23 May 2010 & 24 May 2010 berthed at Gibraltar for bunkers

10 July 2010 delivered Coast Guard launch ‘Fortune’ to the Government of the Seychelles Islands as a gift from the British Government



Seychelles Coast Guard launch ‘Fortune’


November 2010 attached to Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150). CTF 150 is the counter-terrorism and maritime security mission of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a global maritime partnership tasked with promoting security and stability in Middle Eastern waters –  warships assigned to CTF 150, including USS Winston S. Churchill, Pakistan frigate PNS Khaibar (formerly HMS ARROW) and French frigate FS Commadant Bouan
13 January 2011 Captain (X) Anthony McNally RFA appointed as Commanding Officer until 12 April 2011
3 April 2011 the Commodore RAN in command of Combined Task Force 150 Commended all serving in RFA DILIGENCE for their dedication and exemplary endeavours while supporting the Task Force for a total period of 74 days 
10 April 2011 Captain (X) Stephen P Donkersley RFA appointed as Commanding Officer
16 May 2011 received a distress call from German-owned, Panamanian-flagged very large crude oil carrier Artemis Glory that while on passage from Juaymah Terminal, Saudi Arabia, to China she was under attack by pirates. The USS Bulkeley (DDG84) was notified and this warship launched ‘Venom 512’, a Sikorsky SH-60B  The helicopter reached the scene of the battle, observed the pirates firing at the merchantman, and under the principle of “extended unit self-defense,” the helicopter attacked, killing all four pirates
31 May 2011 deployed on Operation Kipion in the Persian Gulf until 26 April 2012
15 July 2011 at Fujairah, Gulf of Oman
30 July 2011 at Fujairah, Gulf of Oman
29 December 2011 The Earl of Wessex, the Commodore in Chief RFA and the Countess of Wessex and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of Bahrain, visited RFA Diligence during a port visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Mina Salman Port.
5 January 2012 Captain (X) Stephen P Donkersley RFA appointed as Commanding Officer
9 February 2012 berthed at Port Rashid, UAE
28 July 2012 while under refit at Cammell Laird shipyard at Birkenhead a fire was detected in the purifier flat by the engine room. The fire was extinguished with fire crews attending from Birkenhead, Wallasey, Heswall, Croxteth, Upton, Kirkdale, Liverpool City Centre and Toxteth after 4 hours. No injuries were reported
29 October 2012 Captain (X) Stephen P Donkersley RFA appointed as Commanding Officer
19 April 2013 at Liverpool and Captain (X) Trevor Iles RFA appointed as Commanding Officer
1 May 2013 at the Gareloch, HM Naval base on the Clyde
HMS Ambush alongside Dili 1 5 2013 at Gareloch
HMS Ambush alongside RFA Diligence at the Gareloch


9 July 2013 sailed from Portsmouth on deployment
13 July 2013 berthed alongside at Malaga, Spain
16 July 2013 sailed Malaga, Spain
21 July 2013 berthed at Valletta, Malta
26 July 2013 sailed from Valletta, Malta
1 August 2013 deployed on Operation Kipion in the Persion Gulf until 1September 2014
25 October 2013 at Bahrain
29 March 2014 berthed at Mina Sulman
3 April 2014 sailed from Mini Sulman
4 April 2014 berthed at Dubai
23 April 2014 sailed from Dubai
27 April 2014 at 26.68N 51.30E
2 May 2014 berthed at Mina Sulman, Bahrain
6 May 2014 sailed Mina Sulman, Bahrain
13 May 2014 berthed at Mina Sulman, Bahrain
18 May 2014 at Mina Sulman, Bahrain. Captain (X) Gerard A Patterson RFA appointed as Commanding Officer and Chief Officer (E) Gareth M Coomber RFA appointed as Acting Captain (E) and as Chief Engineer Officer
26 May 2014 sailed Mina Sulman, Bahrain
3 June 2014 berthed at Mina Sulman, Bahrain
8 June 2014 sailed Mina Sulman, Bahrain
15 June 2014 alongside at Fujairah, UAE
4 July 2014 Captain (X) Kim Watts RFA appointed as Commanding Officer
Capt Kim Watts
Captain (X) Kim Watts RFA
19 July 2014 Captain (E) Brian A King RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer until 26 July 2014
16 August 2014 sailed Mina Sulman, Bahrain
2 September 2014 transitted the Suez Canal north bound
5 September 2014 passed Malta north west bound
6 September 2014 passed Pantelleria
9 September 2014 berthed at Gibraltar
RFA Diligence 090914 70
RFA Diligence arriving at Gibraltar
 © Gibdan
20 September 2014 sailed Plymouth
Diligence sails Plymouth 2014
© Captain Shaun Jones OBE RFA
9 January 2015 at Liverpool and Captain (X) Paul B Minter RFA appointed as Commanding Officer and Captain (E) Brian A S King RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
Capt Paul Minter
Captain (X) Paul B Minter RFA
11 March 2015 sailed Liverpool
15 March 2015 berthed at Portland
18 March 2015 sailed Portland
27 March 2015 berthed at Portland sailing the same day
29 March 2015 arrived at Liverpool and berthed off Princess Parade
1 May 2015 berthed alongside at Birkenhead
17 September 2015 in Bidston graving dock, Birkenhead
June 2016 decision was taken to remove the ship from service in December 2016 after consideration of her age and increasing obsolescence and to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
4 August 2016 the Disposal Services Authority seeks expressions of interest for the sale of the ship with offers in excess of £800K invited
25 March 2017 sailed Birkenhead under the tow of MTS Vanquish for Portsmouth
29 March 2017 arrived and berthed at Portsmouth Harbour
Dili 29 3 17 arr at Portsmouth
RFA Diligence entering Portsmouth Harbour
 3 April 2019 notification of sale withdrawn


Ships of the same name


Diligence. (ex Intelligence) renamed 1692 a brigantine of 78 bm, 64 x 17 feet armed with 2 guns built at Deptford and launched on the 23 March 1693.  Sold on the 26 November 1708.


Diligence. A 6th rate of 152 bm, purchased on the 23 May 1709, sold in 1712.


Diligence. A sloop of 236 bm, 88.5 x 24. 5 feet armed with 10 guns launched by Wells of Rotherithe on the 29 July 1756.  The ship became a fire ship and  was renamed “ Comet” on the 27 August 1779.  Sold out of service on the 5 December 1780.


Diligence. (ex Spencer, renamed in 1795).  A brig-sloop of 320 bm, 95 x 28 feet armed with 8 guns launched by Parsons of Bursledon on the 24 November 1795.  The ship was wrecked on the Honda Bank, Cuba in August 1800.


Diligence. (ex Union) A sloop of 361 bm, 99 x 29 ft armed with 14 x 24 pdr Carronades, 2 x 18 pdr.  Purchased on the 5 February 1801.  Sold out of service on the 16 April 1812.


Diligence. (ex Thistle)  A lugger purchased in 1812.  Sold on the 15 December 1818.


Diligence . A transport built by Bailey of Ipswich, 317 bm, 104 x 26 feet, launched on the 30 September 1814.  Became a coal hulk in August 1861, later given the pennant number C.72.  Sold on the 5 July 1904.


Diligence. A wood screw sloop of 950 bm laid down at Chatham Dockyard in 1862, she was cancelled on the 12 December 1863.


Diligence. (ex Tabristan) of 7,100 tons, 390 x 46 feet launched in 1907 and purchased on the 29 January 1913, converted to a depot ship in 1915.  Broken up by Hughes Bolckow at Blyth in November 1926.


Diligence. A repair ship of 4,023 tons, 441.5 x 57 feet built by Bethlehem Steel Corporation and lent to the UK on the 8 July 1944 under the lend-lease programme.  Returned to the USN in January 1946.