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HMS Scott helps scientists in mid Atlantic

HMS Scott helps scientists in mid-Atlantic
23 June 2016
In the Atlantic some 300 miles southwest of the tip of the Ireland, one of HMS Scott’s sea boats approaches a buoy which helps scientists study the effects of climate change on the world’s oceans.

The team on the Royal Navy’s largest survey ship were asked to help experts from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton with one of its scientific buoys over the Porcupine Abyssal Plain – named not for the mammal, but for another RN survey ship which discovered the vast plateau 150 years ago.

The centre receives daily data from a series of buoys bobbing around on the surface, such as CO2 levels, acidity, the concentrations of phytoplankton and nutrients. Analysis helps them to understand climate change and its possible impact on marine life.

This was an enjoyable challenge outside Scott’s normal routine Commanding Officer Commander Karen Dalton-Fyfe

Commander Karen Dalton-Fyfe, Commanding Officer of HMS Scott

Having located the buoy – the nearest land to the east was the Brest peninsula (400 miles), to the west the Bahamas (3,600 miles), to the north Iceland (1,200 miles) and to the south Morocco – 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 centre.

“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. Scott ship has now resumed more regular duties on a 33-day North Atlantic patrol, using her impressive sonar suite to map nearly 60 square miles of seabed every hour – about twice the size of her home port of Plymouth.

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