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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 20:16 UTC

 

 

Falklands' Patrol HMS Forth visits South Georgia as part of its protection and bio diversity duties

Tuesday, December 19th 2023 - 10:09 UTC
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Part of HMS Forth's mission is to regularly patrol the waters around the Falkland Islands and South Georgia (Pic HMS Forth X) Part of HMS Forth's mission is to regularly patrol the waters around the Falkland Islands and South Georgia (Pic HMS Forth X)
Sniffer dog exercising on the deck of HMS Forth during the trip to South Georgia to check for invaseve species. Sniffer dog exercising on the deck of HMS Forth during the trip to South Georgia to check for invaseve species.

The Falkland Islands patrol vessel HMS Forth, has paid a visit to the island of South Georgia, where it met some of its permanent residents, penguins and seals, to look after their well being and the environment.

South Georgia is a British Overseas Territory 800 miles east of the Falklands, and part of HMS Forth's mission is to regularly patrol its waters. The vessel offers reassurance and protection in and around the Falklands and other South Atlantic Islands, and assists the regional governments in protecting the sovereignty of their waters and its resources.

South Georgia was the first place to be occupied by Argentine forces in March 1982 - and the first to be liberated by British forces the following month.

HMS Forth as the Royal Navy's permanent presence in the waters of the South Atlantic has the mission to protect the nation’s interests at sea, whether that means safeguarding fishing stocks in UK waters, or offering reassurance and protection in the Falklands..

HMS Forth has a flight deck and is armed with an array of weaponry, meaning she can support a range of operations from counter-piracy to anti-smuggling. In 2021, Forth took bomb disposal experts to South Georgia on a special mission. Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians from the British Army's Royal Logistic Corps were sent to find and deal with devices left over from the Falklands 1982 War..

They found rocket motors that could threaten the safety of scientists from the British Antarctic Survey which works there through the year, or the native wildlife, which includes seals, seabirds and penguins.

This time however HMS Forth besides its routine patroling tasks included bio security protection. This meant carrying sniffer dogs to help protect the wild life, particulalry since following a titanic enterprise involving several years, the island of South Georgia managed to eliminate rodents and other invasive species.

The Royal Navy takes environmental issues very seriously, and in preparation for the South Georgia patrol, HMS Forth received bio-security training on how to protect the landscape and wildlife. This meant sailing with sniffer dogs to check on invasive species, and with which the crew fell in love quite soon.

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