Straight away from Norway, the ship was returning from “Steadfast Defender 24”, one of NATO’s largest military exercises since the Cold War. one of the largest military exercises organised by NATO since the Cold War.

Following the successful completion of the exercise, the crew required a port visit. The tugs VB Tiger, VB Kracht, VB Hudson and VB Schelde safely assisted the carrier to its berth.

Each type of transport within the port requires different challenges and demands teamwork involving all parts of this chain. Prior to the arrival of the aircraft carrier, several meetings were held with the different parties involved to review all the operational details.

On this occasion, the shape and structure of the carrier’s hull required special towing and mooring operations involving the use of tugs with folding masts.

During the operation, two Boluda tug chiefs led the communication between the four harbour tugs and the pilots, carrying out a complex manoeuvre safely.

About HMS Prince of Wales

HMS Prince of Wales is one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK and forms part of the Royal Navy‘s two-strong fleet of Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

Her flight deck is 70 metres wide and 280 metres long – enough space for three football pitches – and she holds a minimum of 45 days’ worth of food in stores. She will have a crew complement (minimum crew) of around 700, increasing to around 1,600 with aircraft onboard. HMS Prince of Wales’ size and scope is awe-inspiring – she can embark 36 F-35B and four Merlin Helicopters.