UAE: HMS Enterprise Finds Two Undiscovered Wrecks in Dubai

HMS Enterprise Finds Two Undiscovered Wrecks in Dubai

Recently HMS Enterprise found the wreck of a dhow in the waters around one of the world’s busiest harbours using her new hi-tech motor launch.

Two sunken vessels were discovered by the Devonport-based survey ship as she worked in Port Rashid – one of the main ports serving Dubai – as her nine-month deployment to the Middle East begins in earnest.

Before leaving the UK in September, Enterprise received Spitfire, her new Survey Motor Boat, which can be sent off independently to gather data at the same time as the mother ship – effectively doubling the ship’s capacity to chart the Seven Seas.

After trials in the UK and around Souda Bay in Crete, the first real test of Spitfire came off Dubai with two days of surveying work in tandem with Enterprise herself.

The net result from the duo’s scanning via their multi-beam sonars were two previously-undiscovered wrecks – each about 20 metres (65ft) long rising about five metres (16ft) from the seabed of the harbour – produced in impressive 3D graphic representations (as well as very colourful two-dimensional images) courtesy of the powerful computer systems and software aboard Enterprise.

With the wrecks now surveyed, the data has been passed on to Dubai’s port authority and other mariners alerted to the dhows’ presence – for both are large enough to pose a danger to shipping.

“The level of detail visible on the wrecks shows the impressive capability of the new Survey Motor Boat and the opportunity afforded to us by the local authorities in Dubai to conduct this survey training has been invaluable,” said Cdr Derek Rae, Enterprise’s Commanding Officer.

“The outcome of the training has been mutually beneficial and we are delighted to have been assistance to other mariners.”

His ship will be carrying out survey work in the Middle East until May, building on the successes of her sister HMS Echo which discovered numerous wrecks and obstacles during a mammoth 19-month deployment to the same region.

As well as helping to update some of the 3,300-plus Admiralty Charts which are used by many of the world’s seafarers (including the Royal Navy), Enterprise will also support the wider international naval effort to prevent piracy and other criminal activities in the Indian Ocean and environs.

Naval Today Staff,November 30, 2012; Image: UK MoD