A rare visit from HMS Scott to Portsmouth

Royal Navy survey ship HMS Scott has arrived in Portsmouth for a rare visit after spending a record-breaking summer gathering survey data in the North Atlantic.

The Plymouth-based vessel, the largest survey vessel in the fleet, has been scanning the ocean floor over an area roughly the size of Austria using her sophisticated array of sensors. HMS Scott is usually tasked to chart the seafloor overseas to aid the safe navigation for all seafarers around the world. 

Throughout the covid-19 pandemic she has continued her operational tasking but using UK rather than overseas ports to rotate her crew every six weeks. HMNB Portsmouth will provide her with food and fuel ready for her next patrol. On Saturday, she arrived for her first visit to Portsmouth since November 2011.

The ship and her company have had a successful summer, including one six-week patrol on which she collected more data than in any previous stint at sea during her 23-year career. Commanding Officer, Commander James Baker, said: “It’s a pleasure to be back in Portsmouth after such a long time and to reflect on a busy but successful summer at sea.

Scott has had an extremely successful season in the North Atlantic gathering an unprecedented volume of bathymetric survey data

Commanding Officer, Commander James Baker

“As ever, success is built on a team effort, and I could not be prouder of my ship’s company who have worked their socks off to deliver this operational task, despite significant programme changes. The weather has also been unseasonably rough at times, but I’m pleased to say we have made excellent progress.”

HMS Scott’s visit to HMNB Portsmouth will allow the ship to facilitate a number of events. As she approaches her planned out of service date in 2022, a number of VIPs will be visiting including the Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd, and Director Delivery, Rear Admiral Andrew Burns.

It’s not just a rare visit to Portsmouth that will be celebrated; there are also a couple of well-deserved awards to be handed out to members of the ship’s company. A Meritorious Service Medal will be presented to Warrant Officer Andy Rowbotham for his work in support of the Engineering branch, and another for Lt Charlotte Eddy, the top performing student on the exacting Fleet Navigating Officers’ course earlier this year.

HMS Scott will also be conducting a routine watch handover whilst in Portsmouth, sending a third of the crew on leave and receiving a third back onboard before they depart for the North Atlantic to continue their tasking.