The Royal Navy hydrographic survey ship HMS Scott is returning to Davenport Sunday April 10 after completing her second deployment to Antarctica. During the 22,500-mile journey she has been working on behalf of the British Foreign Commonwealth Office, British Antarctic Survey & United Kingdom Hydrographic Office.
The ship's tasks have included inspecting Antarctic research stations and unique areas of scientific interest, enforcing and observing the stringent environmental protective measures of the Antarctic Treaty. This work helps protect the pristine nature of Antarctica for generations to come.
HMS Scott has also used her state-of-the art sonar equipment to map the Antarctic Seas to ensure safe passage for the plethora of cruise ships that are now visiting the region. Good weather meant she conducted visits to the bases of thirteen different nations, significantly more than in previous years.
Commander George Tabeart said: “The Ice Patrol Ship deployment is a privileged step change from HMS Scott’s usual tasking of ocean survey.
“The capabilities of the ship allow a variety of alternative activities that are complementary to the work that has been previously undertaken by HMS Endurance and will be undertaken by HMS Protector.
“With safety of life paramount in these remote waters, our survey work will ensure that tourists can safely visit the pristine environment and witness the abundance of wildlife.”
HMS Scott's deployment to the South Atlantic was in support of the UK’s long-term strategic, scientific, environmental and sustainable resource management interests in the Antarctic, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, and the wider area.
The UK protects these interests and UK’s sovereignty by taking a leading role in the Antarctic Treaty System through a policy of presence, governance, and commitment to deliver the UK’s international obligations.
HMS Scott is the Royal Navy’s deep-water Ocean Survey Vessel (OSV) and is the fifth largest vessel in the Fleet, at 13,500 tons. Commissioned in 1997, the full ship’s crew is 78, but the crew rotation system means 52 are onboard at any one time during a standard 35 day operational cycle and the remainder of the crew take leave.
The Royal Navy has recently announced the procurement of HMS Protector, a Norwegian ice-patrol ship, which will initially be leased for three years. The ship's mission will be patrol and survey the Antarctic and South Atlantic while the long-term future of HMS Endurance is considered.