We were thrilled to see that the Royal Barge was closely protected during the Jubilee Pageant, by Offshore Raiding Craft (ORC) at each corner. The four ORCs manned by various personnel, kept station during the entire journey down the Thames, finally turning away when the Royal Barge berthed safely at HMS President.
This great PA picture shows the Royal Barge going past the Palace of Westminster at a stately speed. Three ORCs can be clearly seen and sharp eyed readers will just see the mast of the fourth ORC on the port quarter!
The ORC, designed by Amgram Ltd and built by Holyhead Marine is a 9m 40 knot boat. The boat was specifically designed to provide a platform for security personnel as well as interdiction and insertion duties and is starting to become a regular sight as security and protection vessel at various different events. These highly manoeuvrable boats have propulsion provided by diesel engine coupled to water jet and around 40 of these craft have now been built and are in service with the Royal Marines. Besides the shallow water capability the water jets provide the facility to provide close quarter protection at slow speed- just right for guarding Royal Barges!