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  • Another RFA question...

    This is probably a really stupid question but when you're at sea does snail mail get to you? Obviously I know how the ebluey system works works for the Army and the RAF, I just don't know if anything gets through to the RN/RFA.
    'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'

  • #2
    From what I remember from reading on here I believe if you know the ships next port and the name of the ship then you can send a letter to the ship!

    Providing you sent it in plenty of time..

    Someone will correct me if I'm wrong hopefully!

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    • #3
      For RFA I would imagine there is a BFPO address of sorts?

      For everyone else, have the letters sent to the ship management or crewing office. Theyll forward it on for you. Letters only, no parcels (may vary by company)

      Sent from the Batcave via carrier pigeon....
      I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

      All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Blondie View Post
        when you're at sea does snail mail get to you?
        RFAs have a BFPO number, and as of last a year a postcode to go with it (makes online shopping easier). Mail is forwarded through the ship's agent and is usually waiting on the jetty when you arrive at a port. If in port for an extended period there will usually be several mail deliveries, or if near a UK base a more regular service. Delivery time to Bahrain certainly used to be under one week, which is comparable to the service in the UK.

        UK service from BFPO can be a bit slow, so I have had mail sent to the geographic address of a commercial port in the UK before.

        If at sea for a really long time without a port visit, like during OP TELIC or that sort of thing, ships and helicopters will be used to collect and distribute mail around a deployed task group.

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        • #5
          That's really helpful Steve, thanks
          'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'

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          • #6
            The royal mail won't exsist soon, so if your in the RFA they'll probably have to delivery it to your house by helicopter too. :P hahaha.

            Yes, all shipping companies will forward mail for you to your ports of call. Of course, if not RFA be careful what you send over seas, as some countries postman are very light fingered!
            ....

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            • #7
              For all us Cargo/Cruise lot, forward the mail on to your manning or management office and they'll send it out to the vessel with it's usual mail bag. Mail bag is usually fairly secure as it goes out via courier to the agents (audit trails, security, etc).

              Only thing not to send is parcels or packages as companies won't send them on for security/customs reasons (long explanation, can't be bothered, beer to be drunk, etc).
              I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

              All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                For all us Cargo/Cruise lot, forward the mail on to your manning or management office and they'll send it out to the vessel with it's usual mail bag. Mail bag is usually fairly secure as it goes out via courier to the agents (audit trails, security, etc).
                While it may vary by company, if your on a cruise ship normally;

                If you're on a regular run there will be a preferred address to send mail to - in most cases this tends to be the agents at your home port and the address is usually up on a wall near the crew office.

                If you're lucky enough to be on a non repeating itinerary, from experience it's best to have mail delivered to a turn-around port since agents there do tend to be semi-competent - you know at least the itinerary for the next year, so it's not that difficult to pick a port sufficiently far in advance and just ask one of the bridge officers (or pursers) for the agents address in that port - although if you're sending stuff out with Europe / North America it's hit and miss if it turns up.
                ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

                ? Mark Twain
                myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For the OP, if you are on an RFA operating long-term east of Suez you will generally be on Op KIPION and people can send you parcels up to 2kg for free.

                  https://www.gov.uk/british-forces-po...-service-effms

                  Otherwise normal BFPO rates apply.

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                  • #10
                    Excellent news- thanks again Steve!
                    'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by alistairuk View Post
                      While it may vary by company, if your on a cruise ship normally;
                      although if you're sending stuff out with Europe / North America it's hit and miss if it turns up.
                      As Alistair knows, I live in South America, and the amount of stuff I get sent from Europe, via secure courier, and it never gets to me. But in the past I have had stuff stolen on the cargo plane between Japan and the UK too! So yeah, don't send anything precious or expensive, like a laptop or PSP. Even Blu-rays get stolen.
                      ....

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                      • #12
                        I sent some Christmas cards out to a friend on a container ship early December a few years back- they got it in July... wish I was joking!

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                        • #13
                          Yeah I've heard of post taking a few months to arrive as well. Maybe not quite as long as that though!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by laura View Post
                            I sent some Christmas cards out to a friend on a container ship early December a few years back- they got it in July... wish I was joking!
                            I got a friend who got his mum to post him a harddrive, but then he it turned up at the ship after he left, so they sent it back to his mum, then his mum had to send it to the college, its been travelling for 2 months solid. :P
                            ....

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                            • #15
                              Ok - so what about sending letters to people? Can I do that whilst at sea?
                              'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'

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