THE HMS MONMOUTH MYSTERY: “NO ROOM IN CARDIFF DOCKS” – CLAIMS MoD

HMS Monmouth - still lying at anchor this morning off the island of Flatholm - and visible from Penarth

HMS Monmouth – still lying at anchor this morning off the island of Flatholm – and visible from Penarth seafront and pier

The mystery of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Monmouth continues this morning  – after a night in which the multi-million pound warship has lain at anchor off the island of Flatholm in what appeared to be total darkness.

The ship had been due to dock in Cardiff yesterday afternoon and this morning was to have welcomed-aboard visitors from the town of Monmouth – but that event, which had been arranged weeks ago, was abruptly cancelled  yesterday because of what the Ministry of Defence called “external factors“.

HMS Monmouth is anchored within sight of Penarth Pier

HMS Monmouth is anchored within sight of Penarth Pier

Some speculated that  HMS Monmouth had been delayed for some undisclosed reason –  and had missed yesterday afternoon’s tide to enter Cardiff.

However  – the ship made no attempt to enter Cardiff on this morning’s 03:45 tide either – and appeared to be showing no navigation lights as she remained at anchor.

This morning the Ministry of Defence came up with another explanation for Monmouth’s delay. An MoD spokesman  said The issue which has caused the delay is that there is no berth in Cardiff.

The MoD said HMS Monmouth “has been in the area for a while as you know but there was a commercial alternative – and, as ever, commercial vessels are given priority so Monmouth has been waiting there and will go in when there is a berth ready.

HMS Monmouth can be seen clearly from Penarth as she waits - and waits - to enter Cardiff.

HMS Monmouth can be seen clearly from Penarth as she waits – and waits – to enter Cardiff.

As dawn broke this morning  the long grey ship could again be seen riding at anchor from Penarth Pier and Penarth Esplanade – to the right of the islands as viewed from Penarth. She should be brought into Cardiff with an escort of tugs after 16:00.

The Ministry of Defence said today there was “definitely no technical issue” with the ship . HMS Monmouth is a Type 23 frigate – not to be confused with the Royal Navy’s notorious Type 45 destroyers which have what the Navy calls “a major design flaw” in their intercoolers which can cause their diesel generators to trip out, leaving the destroyers  without any electricity or means of propulsion.

The 12 Type 23s – including HMS Monmouth –   however, also have a similar power system and are all due to have their power generators replaced – starting later his year . Each of the dozen ships will be equipped with four new Rolls Royce MTU 12V 4000 M53B diesel gensets, as part of the Royal Navy’s vessel “life extension” program.

HMS Monmouth passing Penarth Head on her previous visit to Cardiff in 2013

HMS Monmouth passing Penarth Head on her previous visit to Cardiff in 2013

PDN correspondent “Shipspotter” said he had tracked HMS Monmouth and had found she had “arrived as planned of Barry but due to an unfortunate oversight her allocated tugs were deployed elsewhere  – docking a chemical tanker called “Bomar Quest” at Barry Docks”.  Shipspotter comments  “If this is true then the words ‘POOR ORGANISATION ‘ and ‘LEAVING A MULTI-MILLION POUND FRIGATE STUCK IN THE CHANNEL ‘ take some explaining.”

A PDN source at Cardiff Docks confirmed that HMS Monmouth is now expected to dock this afternoon – but was not able to comment on the statement made by the MoD .

It is unprecedented for a naval vessel to be held up because of commercial shipping in Cardiff – especially a fighting vessel which is undertaking a high-profile public visit .

On Sunday the crew of Monmouth is due to take part in a formal military and civic ceremony after marching through the centre of Monmouth to mark the close links of the ship to her eponymous town.

This morning  the people of Monmouth and Monmouthshire were to have been invited on board between 10:00 and 14:00 for a rare chance for them to see ‘their own’ warship at first hand and meet the crew –  but it appears this arrangement has had to be cancelled.

UPDATE: HMS Monmouth docked in Cardiff at at 15:30 this afternoon.

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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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7 Responses to THE HMS MONMOUTH MYSTERY: “NO ROOM IN CARDIFF DOCKS” – CLAIMS MoD

  1. whatsoccurin says:

    word seems to be that she will berth this evening-parking in the Bay is a problem but this is ridiculous!-reminds me of those great days when we were able to visit the NATO ships-sailors had obviously been told to be vague about departure times. However you only had to look at the Cardiff Barrage website which noted barrage closed due to “MOD Activity” at certain times.

  2. PENARTH SHIPSPOTTER says:

    NO ROOM Thats A PORKY The Allocated BRITANNIA WHARF CARDIFF Is And Has Been Empty For Months.STILL MINIMAL WITH THE TRUE FACTS ? The HMS MONMOUTH Saga Continues The REASON She Didn’t Berth On This Mornings Tide. Tugs Were Berthing A Tanker (Oil Products) At Cardiff.. With A Limited Numbers Of TUGS ( 3 ).And What Might Be Described As ONE ALMIGHTY COCK UP. One Clear Point Has Been Made For The SECOND TIME Commercial Shipping Has Taken PRIORITY Over A ROYAL NAVY VESSEL.

  3. Colin says:

    The coal ships used to come in on the morning tide, load, and manage to sail out same day!!! Pity it cant come in to Penarth dock, but houses are more important, along with a 300,000 ton tip. Such a waste!

  4. Nemo says:

    I also know it was due to the availability of the tug boats at the time

    • PENARTH SHIPSPOTTER. says:

      Thankyou NEMO For your comment. As I Explained We ALL Now Know The Reasons And The COVER UP STORIES From The Cardiff Port Authority Who Turned This VISIT Into A Shambles. They Have Done Their Best To Embarrass The Planned Royal Navies Visit . I Hope They Will Remember TO TELLTHE TRUTH IN FUTURE IS NOT A CRIME..

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