Led by Lieutenant Commander H Morgan, HMS Magpie is the first of numerous new small craft the RN is acquiring to replacing aging work/support boats. It is HMS Magpie’s task to survey the places other parts of the RN Hydrographic Squadron cannot reach thanks to her size and shallow draft.
That chiefly means updating charts of UK ports, harbours and waterways – in the final months of her life, for example, Gleaner was used extensively to survey the exit from Rosyth… allowing Britain’s biggest warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, to safely leave to begin her sea trials in the summer of 2017.
In addition, she acts as an extra pair of eyes in home waters for anything untoward happening.
Her built-in and towed sonar systems can scan every inch of the working part of a harbour to provide 3D imagery and an understanding of the seabed like never before.