On 17th June 2021, whilst deployed in the Arctic, HMS Protector’s Hydrographic Specialists conducted ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) training, practising driving skills and getting a unique underwater perspective of the ice.
The SEABOTIX LBV300-5 ROV consists of a control box with screen and joystick and as well as two cameras and has a sonar with about 20m range. Typically, it would be used at up to 50m depth for nearshore seabed surveys, wreck investigations, jetty surveys or hull inspections. In the remote parts of the world with below freezing sea temperatures where HMS Protector operates, the ROV provides these capabilities where divers would be restricted.
HMS Protector is the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship, and has recently completed a 5 yearly refit and subsequent Operational Sea Training package. One of the most versatile ships in the Royal Navy, HMS Protector will later this year deploy to the Antarctic where she will carry out work supporting the UK’s obligations as one of the signatories to the Antarctic Treaties. In addition, the ship will support Partner agencies within Her Majesty’s Government and work with others to develop understanding and further the natural preservation of that great continent.
While carrying out ice trials on 15th June 2021, HMS Protector had a visit from a mother polar bear and her cub. Ship’s company put the sampling schedule on hold and enjoyed a once in a lifetime experience seeing a polar bear in the wild. Once the bear had moved on and the area was safe, ice sampling and ice breaking trials continued.
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Special Thanks to: LPHOT Belinda Alker
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