We would like to place Cookies on your computer to give you the best possible experience when you visit our website. If you are happy with the current Cookie settings and want to continue to use this website as normal, click 'OK'. You also have the option to change these settings, plus learn more about Cookies and how we use them. More information on Cookies.

OK
Change settings

Sign into my account

Forgot your username Forgot your password

Protecting our Nation's Interests

Skip to main content

Protector maps waters off remote South Atlantic island

HMS Protector visits Tristan da Cunha

12/11/2012

Survey ship HMS Protector stopped off at the tiny and remote island of Tristan da Cunha on her way to Antarctica to map its waters for the first time in 40 years. The Portsmouth-based ship and her hi-tech motor launch spent three days off the volcanic isle, which lies nearly 1,750 miles west of Cape Town.

It is a genuine pleasure and privilege for HMS Protector and the Royal Navy to be able to help in making the waters around Tristan da Cunha safer for all seafarers; we are delighted to be here
Capt Peter Sparkes, HMS Protector

SURVEY ship HMS Protector has visited the remote island of Tristan da Cunha to conduct the first systematic survey of the British Overseas Territory since the 1970s.

The only survey to have been taken using modern techniques, the Portsmouth-based ship used her motorboat, James Caird IV, and onboard state-of-the-art systems to do a multi-beam echo sounder survey of the Edinburgh Anchorages.

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is the main settlement on Tristan da Cunha that was forced to evacuate its entire population to England following a volcanic eruption in 1961.

In 1962 a Royal Society expedition visited the islands to assess the damage and reported that the settlement had only been marginally affected. Most families returned to Edinburgh in 1963. 

The island is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying 1,750 miles from the nearest land, South Africa, and 2,088 miles from South America.

The territory consists of the main island of Tristan da Cunha itself, which measures 11 kilometres across, along with the uninhabited Nightingale Islands and the wildlife reserves of Inaccessible Island and Gough Island. It has a permanent population of 275.

Although Edinburgh remained habitable, the waters surrounding the settlement were badly affected by the volcanic eruption, making them particularly hazardous for navigation and requiring the survey work of HMS Protector.

Throughout her three-day visit the ship also conducted a fishery protection patrol around the islands. Her presence reaffirms the UK’s commitment to the area and in this instance also provides a tangible survey product for the local people and economies. 

Captain Peter Sparkes, HMS Protector’s Commanding Officer said: “It is a genuine pleasure and privilege for HMS Protector and the Royal Navy to be able to help in making the waters around Tristan da Cunha safer for all seafarers; we are delighted to be here.”

From Tristan da Cunha HMS Protector will begin her passage to the Antarctic.

Pictures: LA(Phot) Arron Hoare, Peregrine Trophy winner 2012 

Upcoming Events

Navy News Digital Edition

Related Stories

Related Links

Features

Find the perfect role

Our job finder tool will help you find the perfect role to match your skills

I'm Interested in:
  • Explore Opportunities Chef (Submariner)
    More info
  • Explore Opportunities Air Engineering Technician
    More info
  • Explore Opportunities Logistics Officer
    More info