Dutch Minesweeper HMS SITTARD
Dutch Naval Vessel SITTARD.
This is the former Royal Netherlands Navy’s ‘HMS Sittard’ minesweeper.
MSC-172 Class Coastal Minesweeper: Originally planned as AMS-186; Reclassified by U. S. Navy as a Coastal Minesweeper, MSC-186, 7 February 1955; Laid down 24 March 1955 as MSC-186 by Niestern scheepsbouw unie, Hellevoetsluis, Holland under the off-shore procurement plan of the Military Defense Assistance Pact and based on the design of the British "Ton" Class Coastal Minesweeper; Launched 26 April 1956; Completed 25 October 1956; Commissioned Sittard (M 830), 19 December 1956; Decommissioned in 1996; Struck from the Navy Register in 1997 and transferred to the Sea Cadets in Harlingen, Holland.
Year of construction 1956
Overall length 46.81 meters
Beam 8.78 meters
Mean draught 2.50 meters
Displacement 428 tonnes
Propulsion - 2 MAN V12 22/30 4-stroke super-charged Diesel Engines (932 kW each)
Propellors - two 4-bladed outward-turning Adjustable Pitch Propellers
Auxiliary engines - 3 Agromeau 90 bhp generator sets, which generate 220V DC
Total consumption of fuel (economy) sailing 250 litres MGO/hr
HMS Sittard is a “Dokkum Class” minesweeper. These ships were built in the nineteen-fifties with the assistance of the US Government. The design of the Dokkum Class minesweepers was based on a standard adopted by the navies of the former Allies in the 2nd World War, and for this reason they are more usually referred to internationally as WU (Western Union) minesweepers. The ships’ non-magnetic properties were achieved by constructing them from wood on an aluminium frame. The ship’s hull consists of 2 layers of wood; the inner layer is Mahogany and the outer is Teak. The decks are made from Peroba de Campos (South American teak). The superstructure is aluminium. The ship was originally equipped with an open bridge, which was enclosed in the seventies. All equipment is non-magnetic; the engines are made from aluminium and stainless steel. The “Sittard” can take 13 members of staff and 42 cadets on voyages; the staff is accommodated in 2, 3 or 4 person cabins, and the cadets sleep in two living quarters each accommodating 21 persons.
I was down on the River Humber riverfront early in the morning and this one appeared on the horizon unannounced. As she got closer it became increasingly obvious that she was a naval vessel. Needless to say that I was pleased to be able to shoot this one out of the blue as it were. She passed very close by as I was on the top deck of the Pier.