HMS Gleaner

HMS Gleaner

HMS Gleaner is the Royal Navy’s smallest commissioned vessel. The survey motor launch is an advanced survey vessel, using multi beam and sidescan sonar to collect data on the nature of the sea bed and the depth of water.

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Gleaner – which carries the prefix Her Majesty’s Survey Motor Launch or HMSML – was built at Emsworth in Hampshire and launched on 18 October 1983.

She was designed to carry out inshore survey work along the South Coast of England, but has since carried out surveys around the coast of the UK, as well as making visits to overseas ports.

Gleaner is also believed to be the only Royal Navy ship to have paid a visit to Switzerland, having travelled up the Rhine for a visit to Basle in 1988.

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Unit History

The First Gleaner1808

The first Gleaner was a 154-ton survey ketch hired in 1808 bought the following year, ordered to be “fitted out as a float light for Thornton Ridge, established with guns and men.”

The Second and Third Gleaners1818

The second Gleaner appeared in the form of a rebuilt and renamed 371-ton wooden paddle gun vessel. The third a 216-ton wooden screw gunboat.

The Fourth Gleaner1890

Gleaner number four was a torpedo gunboat of 735 tons, built at Sheerness in 1890 and sold 15 years later, while number five was the General Stothard, renamed Gleaner in 1906 and sold in 1921.

The Penultimate Gleaner1937

The penultimate Gleaner was a Halcyon-class minesweeper, built in 1937 and originally as a survey ship, converted to a minesweeper and seeing extensive service during World War 2

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Commanding Officer Adam Coles

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Lt Cdr Adam Coles joined Britannia Royal Naval College in May 2001. He assumed command of HMS Gleaner in November 2013.

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