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HMS Bacchante (F69)
Bacchante from Targatness June73 proc.jpeg
HMS Bacchante in June 1973
Career (UK) RN Ensign
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.
Career (New Zealand) NZ Naval Ensign
Name: HMNZS Wellington (F69)
Operator: Royal New Zealand Navy
Commissioned: 1987
Decommissioned: 1999
Struck: 2000
Fate: Sunk in Cook Strait, NZ, 13 November 2005.
General characteristics
Class & type: Leander class frigate

In New Zealand service:

1 × twin 4.5 inch (114 mm) naval guns
6 × 12.7 mm guns
1 × 20mm CIWS (replaced Sea Cat missile system)
2 × triple Mk 32 Torpedo Tubes
Aircraft carried: 1 × Westland Wasp helicopter

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.

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.

While serving with STANAVFORLANT in 1975, Bacchante suffered superficial damage in a collision with HNLMS Holland. The following year, Bacchante participated in the Third Cod War as part of the Fishery Protection Squadron. Bacchante later took part in an International Fleet Review at New York in celebration of the USA's Bicentennial. In 1977, Bacchante began a refit that was completed the following year. Upon returning to service, Bacchante joined STANAVFORLANT and helped rescue the crew of a fishing vessel in the English Channel. She later shadowed the large Soviet aircraft carrier Kiev. In 1979, Bacchante rejoined the STANAVFORLANT.

Shortly after the Iran–Iraq War, Bacchante was deployed to the Persian Gulf. In 1982, Bacchante became the Gibraltar Guardship and subsequently deployed to the South Atlantic to undertake duties around the Falkland Islands in the aftermath of the Falklands War.

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. 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.

Commanding officers

From To Captain
1971 1972 Commander Julian Oswald RN
1978 1979 Commander J R Brigstocke RN

References Accessed on 14 March 2006


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