HMS Bacchante (F69)

HMS Bacchante (F69) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy. Bacchante was built by Vickers on the Tyne, launched on 29 February 1968 and commissioned on 17 October 1969.

HMS Bacchante in June 1973
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Bacchante (F69)
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Vickers-Armstrongs
Laid down: 27 October 1966
Launched: 29 February 1968
Commissioned: 17 October 1969
Decommissioned: 1982
Fate: Sold to Royal New Zealand Navy 1982.
New Zealand
Name: HMNZS Wellington (F69)
Operator: Royal New Zealand Navy
Commissioned: 1982
Decommissioned: 1999
Struck: 2000
Fate: Sunk in Wellington Harbour, NZ, 13 November 2005.
General characteristics
Class and type: Leander-class frigate
Displacement: 3,200 long tons (3,251 t) full load
Length: 113.4 m (372 ft)
Beam: 12.5 m (41 ft)
Draught: 5.8 m (19 ft)
Propulsion: 2 × Babcock & Wilcox boilers supplying steam to two sets of White-English Electric double-reduction geared turbines to two shafts
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h)
Range: 4,600 nautical miles (8,500 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 223
Aircraft carried: 1 × Westland Wasp helicopter

Royal Navy Service

In 1970, Bacchante joined Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), with which she visited a variety of ports and performed naval exercises. The following year, in 1971 Bacchante deployed to the West Indies. While there, she participated in a number of naval exercises, including an exercise with the carriers HMS Ark Royal and USS America. She acted as West Indies Guardship in 1973. During the same period, she was deployed for the Second and Third Cod Wars as part of the Fishery Protection Squadron.[1][2][3][4]

Bacchante was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1981 conducting the second ever Armilla patrol taking over from the Minerva visiting the Somali capital of Mogadishu and the Oman capital of Muscat (often drifting in the Indian Ocean to conserve fuel). In 1982, Bacchante became the Gibraltar Guardship and joined the Birmingham group deploying to the South Atlantic to undertake duties during the Falklands War. Shortly after the war was over the crew was sent ashore to aid the local populace in the disaster recovery operations, providing navigational landmarks for ships located in Stanley Sound and attempting to refloat the high commissioner's barge (but failing); also providing well deserved respite for Royal Marines and navy divers (hot food and accommodation). Whilst trying to erect a navigational radar reflector the team sent ashore, they wandered through a mine field (no injuries received). Some Commanding Officers of note include Julian Oswald and John Brigstocke.

Royal New Zealand Navy Service

In 1982 Bacchante was decommissioned from the Royal Navy and subsequently sold to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). She was renamed Wellington. She decommissioned from the RNZN in 2000.

On decommissioning she was bought from the New Zealand Government for one dollar by the "Sink F69 Trust". On 13 November 2005, after cleaning and the removal of all environmentally unfriendly materials, she was sunk as an artificial reef and dive attraction.[1] She now lies in approximately 25 metres of water about 800 metres offshore from Island Bay, a southern suburb of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Her horn was salvaged and blown.


  1. "Wellington scuttled in Cook Strait". New Zealand Herald. 15 November 2005.
  2. Kim Griggs (11 December 2005). "Sink big". New Zealand Listener.
  3. F69 acquires a new role - Peter Wells
  4. Bacchante's Cod War


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.