Veteran survey ship HMS Scott has returned to Plymouth after a record-breaking nine-month stint in the Atlantic.
As explained, the ship has hoovered up information spanning 400,000 square kilometres of ocean, the most ever collected in a 12-month period by the ship since it joined the fleet back in 1997.
HMS Scott left home in June last year, since when it’s clocked up more than 43,000 miles, gathering environmental data from the depths of the North Atlantic. The vessel gathered the data using a “unique” multi-beam sonar array so that the information was available in higher resolution than has ever been obtained in these waters before.
“Over this deployment the marine engineering department has faced many challenges that we have needed to overcome in order to maintain power to command,” said Leading Engineering Technician Ben Stevenson.
The ship adopted the navy’s widening ‘forward deployment’ model to extend its stint at sea – conducting maintenance in overseas ports to save the returning to the UK.
With the extended mission complete, HMS Scott has a couple of months’ maintenance in Falmouth, before returning to survey operations in June.
“With over a million square miles of ocean still to explore, this crew have proven that even at 25 years old, HMS Scott is surveying better now than she has ever done so before,” said hydrographic officer Lieutenant Naomi Stevens.
Earlier on, the UK officials revealed their plans to retire HMS Scott, with the planned out-of-date service this year. Currently, the Royal Navy’s fleet does not have a proper replacement for this vessel.