Royal Navy survey ship stops in Georgia on three-week Black Sea tour

Royal Navy survey ship HMS Echo pulled into Batumi, Georgia, for the ship’s second visit to the eastern European republic in five months.

The Plymouth-based research ship is in Batumi as part of her Black Sea operations which can last for a maximum 21 days according to the Montreaux Convention, which regulates the transit of warships in the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits.

Echo will work with the Georgian Coastguard at sea on combined exercises, building on the relationship the two established when the Royal Navy ship visited the country in December.

“I am delighted to return to Batumi where we have enjoyed such a warm welcome from our Georgian friends and allies,” Commander Matthew Warren, HMS Echo’s Commanding Officer, said.

“I look forward to working with the Georgian Coastguard once again towards our common aim of peace and stability within the Black Sea.”

Prior to visiting Georgia, HMS Echo visited Constanta, Romania, for survey training with the host navy which included a demonstration of survey motor boat Sapphire’s capabilities. The small craft is designed to operate independently, allowing access to shallow or confined areas where the ship herself cannot operate.