The first operational implementation of the GHER hydrodynamic model is described. It took place onboard the research vessel Alliance with all computation and sharing of forecasts being realised from the vessel in near-real time. The forecasts were realised in the context of the Turkish Straits System 2008 campaign, which aimed at the real-time characterisation of the Marmara Sea and (south-western) Black Sea. The model performed badly at first, mainly because of poor initial conditions. Hence, as the model includes a reduced-rank extended Kalman filter assimilation scheme, after a hindcast where sea surface temperature and temperature and salinity profiles were assimilated, the model yielded realistic forecasts. Furthermore, the time required to run a one-day simulation (about 300 seconds of simulation, or 500 with pre-processing and data transfers included) was very limited and thus operational use of the model is possible.