RML 497 – ‘The Fairmile’
16 June 2016
A new arrival at Portsmouth for the National Museum of the Royal Navy: RML 497. She’s a rarity: a ‘Fairmile B’ motor launch. These ‘Fairmiles’ were maids of all work during WWII, undertaking many tasks, from air-sea rescue to minesweeping and anti-submarine operations. 497 also delivered commandos in a raid on the occupied Channel Islands. Their sleek shape made them some of the best-looking RN craft on the water. 497 is a rare survivor, but now her wooden hull and superstructure need attention – after many years working as a ferry between Torquay and Brixham. She’ll continue that kind of work for the museum at Portsmouth. Nick Hewitt, Head of Heritage Development at the museum, has kindly agreed our request to film the project. Next: a move down-harbour to lift her out of the water for a look at her hull.
Rob is a TV producer, reporter and camera operator with 30 years’ experience at the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN, in news, factual and documentary production. He is a four times award winner, whose awards include a coveted Royal Television Society award for his work on Channel 4 News. His association with The Maritime Foundation goes back to 1995, when he won the first Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award for a series of reports that led to a major documentary on the loss of the bulk carrier Derbyshire.
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