HMS Scott assists National Oceanography Centre scientists

The team on the Royal Navy’s largest survey ship HMS Scott were asked to help experts from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton with one of its scientific buoys over the Porcupine Abyssal Plain.

The center receives daily data from a series of buoys in the Atlantic some 300 miles southwest of the tip of the Ireland.

Data from the plateau, named for another RN survey ship which discovered the vast plateau 150 years ago, includes info on CO2 levels, acidity, the concentrations of phytoplankton and nutrients. Analysis helps them to understand climate change and its possible impact on marine life.

Having located the buoy, Scott’s LS(Sea) ‘Nick’ Senese and AB(HM) ‘Jake’ Whittlesea had to jump aboard the rocking and swaying object in challenging conditions, fit a beacon, and then test it with the help of Professor Richard Lampitt from the oceanography center.

“This was an enjoyable challenge outside Scott’s normal routine,” said Commanding Officer, Commander Karen Dalton-Fyfe. “Versatility and adaptability is core to our business. It is this ability, and the determination of my crew that sets us and the RN apart in being world leaders in naval operations and enables us to excel when challenged.”

Her sailors also recovered a second scientific buoy which had been drifting. HMS Scott has now resumed more regular duties on a 33-day North Atlantic patrol, using her sonar suite to map nearly 60 square miles of seabed every hour.