Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service

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Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service
British Royal Maritime Auxiliary Ensign.svg
RMAS Naval Ensign
Disbanded31 March 2008
CountryUnited Kingdom
TypeMarine Services
SizeOver 200 ships in 1985[1]
Part ofHer Majesty's Naval Service, MoD

The Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service (RMAS) was a British Government agency which ran a variety of auxiliary vessels for Her Majesty's Naval Service (incl. Royal Navy, Royal Marines) and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The service from 2009 has been run by Serco and is known as Serco Marine Services.


The Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service merged with the former Port Auxiliary Service in 1976 to form a component of Her Majesty's Naval Service that was known as marine services. Marine services existed to support the operations of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

In the 1990s, marine services were put out to commercial tender by the Ministry of Defence Warship Support Agency (now absorbed into the Defence Equipment and Support organisation) and by 1996, all tugs, lifting craft, various tenders and management of HMNB Devonport, Portsmouth and Clyde were operated by Serco Denholm.[2]

By the mid 2000s, it was decided that the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service would no longer provide marine services to HM Naval Service, and it would instead be delivered under a Private Finance Initiative instead. Serco were quickly declared preferred bidders and the RMAS was disbanded on 31 March 2008.[3][4]


RMAS vessels carried the ship prefix "RMAS" and auxiliary (A) or yard (Y) pennant numbers. They also had a distinctive livery or colour-scheme, namely: black hulls with white beading and buff-coloured upperworks. Below is a list of vessels previously operated by the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service. A number of the vessels listed below were later transferred over to Serco Marine Services who continue to provide 'marine services' in support of Her Majesty's Naval Service.

Research vessels
Research vessel Colonel Templer passing Greenock on the Firth of Clyde
Ammunition transport
Sal-class salvage vessels
Sal-class Salmoor passing Gourock on the Firth of Clyde
Moor-class salvage vessels
Tornado-class torpedo retrievers
Torrent-class torpedo retrievers
Impulse-class submarine berthing tugs
Adept-class tractor tugs
Adept-class tugs Forceful and Careful entering the River Tamar
Moorings/Range tender
Fast fleet tender/VIP carrier
Aberdovey-class fleet tenders
Aberdovey-class Bembridge entering Portsmouth in 1983
Clovelly-class fleet tenders
Clovelly-class Harlech at Exeter, England, in 2004
Clovelly-class Lamlash passing HMS Warrior at Portsmouth April 30, 2000
Ilchester-class dive tenders
Dive tender Ilchester at Wick, Scotland, in 2004, on her way from Rosyth to Holyhead during the closure of the Caledonian Canal
Loyal-class fleet tender Loyal Watcher off the south coast of England in 2000
Manly-class fleet tenders
Manly-class fleet tender Milbrook at Almerimar, Spain, in 2000

See also

Notes and references

  1. Moore, John, Captain, RN (1985). Jane's Fighting Ships 1984-85. London: Jane's Publishing Co. pp. 623–631.
  2. Marine Services Planning Agreement Archived 28 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "£1 billion MoD Marine Services contract". Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  4. Queen’s Thanks as Last Post Sounds for Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service

Further reading

External links