|RFA Grey Rover - Final Voyage to Liverpool Completed|
Photographs © John H. Luxton & Ian Collard 2009
RFA GREY ROVER departed from Portsmouth on October 14, 2009 towed by tug BRAVEHEART. She arrived in Liverpool Bay on Saturday October 17 and made her way up the Mersey channels to Langton Lock on Sunday October 18. In the channels BRAVEHEART was assisted by Svitzer tug ASHGARTH. OAKGARTH was also present as he entered Langton Lock at 10:35. All identification marks except for the name on the starboard bow had been painted over.
BRAVEHEART exited Langton Lock swinging in Langton Dock before taking a line on her bow to tow GREY ROVER out of the lock. ASHGARTH once clear of the lock swung GREY ROVER's stern and she was taken astern through to the entrance of Canada Graving Dock where she arrived just after mid-day.
It took around an hour to make RFA GREY ROVER fast in Canada Graving Dock - her final resting place. Once her stern was in the dock lines were taken up by two mechanical CAT grabs from Norton's scrap metal - one located each side of the dock. However, before the ship was in the correct position to be moved by the grabs the stern had come into contact with the dock side railings on the north side bending them. One of the grabs using its jib to fend off the stern and help straighten up the vessel. As she was brought into her final position the stern came into contact with the substantial dock wall cracking it - as can be seen in the photograph above. RFA GREY ROVER is expected to be joined by RFA SIR PERCIVALE in early November - the two ships being broken up together.