UK: HMS Ramsey’s Divers Clean the Minehunter’s ‘Moon Pool’ to Ensure Smooth Operation

HMS Ramsey's Divers Clean the Minehunter's ‘Moon Pool’ to Ensure Smooth Operation

If you ever wanted to know what the hole where a sonar on a minehunter is fitted looks like, allow diver Lt Cdr Ben Stait to demonstrate.

This is the ‘moon pool’ of HMS Ramsey – the purposely-positioned hole in the Sandown-class ship’s hull through which the Variable Depth Sonar deploys.

HMS Ramsey's Divers Clean the Minehunter's ‘Moon Pool’ to Ensure Smooth Operation 2

With the sonar removed as part of a spot of maintenance, the ship’s divers – joined by Lt Cdr Stait who’s chief-of-staff of the Royal Navy’s four-strong minehunting force in the Gulf – took to cleaning the under side of the ship.

“A clean ship is a happy ship,” says Mine Clearance Diving Officer Lt Max Wilmot.

“This applies outside as much as it applies inside. The dive team of Ramsey do not believe in the old saying ‘a day alongside is a day wasted’.”

So armed with wooden wedges and scouring pads the team got to work clearing built-up algae from the ‘boot-top’ (the black paint around the waterline of the ship).

As well as improving the outward appearance of the ship, removing the marine growth makes the ship more streamlined through the water, increasing speed, improving handling and fuel efficiency.

As for the ‘moon pool’, cleaning the running gear for the sonar will ensure smooth operation as the heat increases in the coming months – the VDS is a key feature of a Sandown-class minehunter.

Ramsey’s one of four Royal Navy minehunters based out of Bahrain on a long-term basis; she’s joined by her sister HMS Shoreham and Hunt-class ships HMS Quorn and Atherstone.

Naval Today Staff, March 11, 2013 Image: Royal Navy