Saturday, 20 April 2019

The RMS Lives!

Good news today! Last January I wrote what was effectively a requiem for RMS St Helena, see: The fate of that proud ship looked bleak. She lay tied up in Cape Town, decommissioned and silent. I was afraid she might be simply passed on the breakers for scrap, and indeed this looked like the mostly outcome; but since then she has in fact been purchased and re-purchased. She was initially bought up by a company called MNG Maritime who refitted her as an anti-piracy vessel. Piracy is a huge threat to modern seafaring in certain parts of the world. Pirates regularly board undefended vessels, stealing their cargo and sometimes kidnapping crew members or passengers for ransom. Renamed MNG Tahiti, the old RMS sailed to the Gulf of Oman to deliver security guards and armaments to merchant ships in the area so that they would not be raided by pirates. Mark Grey, the CEO of MNG Maritime said: "I fully appreciate the role this vessel has played in all Saints' lives. It is not a responsibility we take on lightly. We will continue to treat her in the manner to which she has become accustomed." Source: Just after the New Year she was sold on. Her new owners are promoters of "Extreme E" a new motor racing formula in which all the cars are electric. They plan to travel the world in the old RMS holding rally car races with all electric SUV's. The organizers Gil de Ferran and Alejandro Agag are launching their proposal with a demonstration race in London. Source: I'll have to go along, not just to see the race, but see the RMS. I am truly elated to find out that that great ship is sailing on. What I wrote soon after the article reporting the RMS' final voyage has been proven true yet again, see: I'm sure the Saints are the most happy of all. For those who live on that tiny remote speck of land the RMS was their lifeblood, delivering almost everything they needed to exist. Losing it must have been heartbreaking. St Helena has changed now. No longer is the island separated from the rest of the world. It is now just a short hop by airliner from global society and everything that goes with it, and I've discussed that in detail in the background links below. To see the RMS still ploughing the waves of the world's oceans is a symbol that there is still hope. The good things of the world have not been completely destroyed. The bad things do not have the monopoly of power that it sometimes seems they do. Thank God! May the RMS St Helena, whatever she is named and whichever flag she flies, continue to sail into the sunset for years and years to come.


Laurence said...

Amen to your hopeful sentiments Ben but let us hope the new owners do not rename the good ship, if for no other reason as not to bring bad tidings.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Hope so, Laurence. Sailors tend to be very superstitious by nature and the crew will know this. All the best :-)

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