Offshore Survey of World's Most Remote Inhabited Territory
British navy ice patrol ship 'HMS Protector' conducts the first systematic survey since the 1970's of waters off Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic.
In the first survey of the area to be conducted using modern techniques, HMS Protector used her motorboat and onboard systems to make a multibeam echo sounder survey of the Edinburgh Anchorages.
The territory is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying 1,750 miles (2,816km) from the nearest land, South Africa, and 2,088 miles (3,360km) from South America.
It consists of the main island of Tristan da Cunha itself - which measures 11km across - along with the uninhabited Nightingale Islands and the wildlife reserves of Inaccessible Island and Gough Island. It has a permanent population of 275.
During her three-day visit, HMS Protector 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.