Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Affiliated resort of Salcombe is first stop for Magpie in an epic 2022

3 March 2022
The picture-postcard Devonshire resort of Salcombe was the first port of call for one of the Royal Navy’s smallest vessels – and the town’s affiliate – at the start of her 2022 deployment: HMS Magpie.

The ship – named after the only warship to be commanded by the late Duke of Edinburgh – is the RN’s sole Inshore Survey Boat, used to map the nation’s key harbours and ports with superb accuracy, ensuring seafaring charts used by mariners are spot on.

The 18-metre long, 37-tonne vessel spent much of last year operating around the coast and only returned to Devonport – home of the Navy’s surveying and hydrographic flotilla – in November after nine months deployed.

Since then, she has undertaken a comprehensive refit package followed by sea trials, regeneration and training in order to ensure she is ready for another extensive survey season in 2022.

“Magpie’s visit to Salcombe marks the first stop on our 2022 deployment, and a welcome opportunity to strengthen ties with our affiliated town.” said Lieutenant Commander Hywel Morgan, HMS Magpie’s Commanding Officer.

“This year will see the ship operate further afield and for longer than ever before. Survey operations are planned in the north-east of England and both east and west coasts of Scotland before a return to Devonport in the latter months of this year.

Magpie’s visit to Salcombe marks the first stop on our 2022 deployment, and a welcome opportunity to strengthen ties with our affiliated town.

Lieutenant Commander Hywel Morgan

“This is a challenging programme for a small team but one we look forward to meeting.” 

Magpie has a ship’s company of just nine personnel, designed to be split into two smaller teams to enable simultaneous data collection and processing as well as increased operational flexibility.

In addition to the planned survey work the 2022 deployment will offer significant opportunities for regional engagement throughout the country and support to events such as National Armed Forces Day.

And she will also play a key role in development of future capability by testing remote and autonomous systems along with other techniques to better collect and exploit environmental data.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.