Protector is the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship, and has recently completed a five-yearly refit and subsequent Operational Sea Training package. One of the most versatile ships in the Royal Navy, 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 HM Government and work with others to develop understanding and further the natural preservation of the continent.
On 17 June while deployed in the Arctic, Protector‘s hydrographic specialists conducted ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) training, practising driving skills and getting a unique underwater perspective of the ice. Protector carries a SEABOTIX LBV300-5 ROV consisting of a control box with screen and joystick and as well as two cameras and has a sonar with about 20m range. Typically, these devices would be used at up to 50m depth for nearshore seabed surveys, wreck investigation, jetty survey or hull inspection. In the remote parts of the world with below freezing sea temperatures where Protector operates, the ROV provides these capabilities where divers would be restricted.