Thursday, 6 November 2014

HMS Severn

Yesterday morning – our colds and the low air temperature not withstanding – Sue and I paid another trip to Woolwich Arsenal Pier. On this occasion we were not there to catch a Thames Clipper towards London; this time it was to see HMS Severn (P282) (a River-class offshore patrol vessel) sailing past on her way to pay an official visit to the City of London.

We arrived at the pier in plenty of time, and whilst we were waiting a Metropolitan Police launch went past us at high speed …

… and a tug – the Svitzer Laceby – also made her way past the pier … going astern about as fast as she could sail forward!

Almost bang on time, HMS Severn sailed around Margaretness from Barking Reach into Gallions Reach.

In a matter of minutes – and escorted by another Police launch – …

… HMS Severn was past Woolwich Arsenal Pier and well on her way towards the Thames Barrier at Charlton.

It was then time to go to leave the Pier and to go and get warm!

HMS Severn’s characteristics
  • Displacement: 1,700 tonnes
  • Length: 260’ 10” (79.5m)
  • Beam: 44’ 7” (13.6)
  • Draught: 12’ 6” (3.8m)
  • Propulsion: 2 × Ruston 12RK 270 diesel engines driving two controllable pitch propellers; 280kW bow thruster; 185kW stern thruster
  • Speed: 20 knots
  • Range: 7,800 nautical miles at 12 knots
  • Complement: 30 (with accommodation for up to 50)
  • Armament: 1 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon; 2 × 7.62mm general purpose machine guns


  1. Interesting. Severn looks similar to the Royal Canadian Navy's Kingston Class Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs) but a little bigger:

    I wonder if the escorting police boats are for security, mindful of USS Cole-type attacks.

  2. Michael Peterson,

    The River-class ships do perform a similar function to the Canadian Kingston-class, but are actually designed by the same team that produced the Royal Thai Navy's Krabi and the Brazilian Navy's Amazonas-class corvettes. The later River-class ships will be bigger than the first ships in the class, and will be based on the design used for the Brazilian ships.

    I suspect that the Police launches were there for security reasons. I managed to photograph two of the three that were escorting HMS Severn.

    All the best,