DISCOVERY - UK’s state-of-the-art research vessel in Punta Arenas, Chile

The British ship RRS Discovery, a multidisciplinary ship specifically designed for the challenges of 21st century oceanography, is in Punta Arenas, Chile, showcasing some of the best of British marine science and innovation.

The RRS Discovery arrived in Punta Arenas in advance of her next research expedition, to undertake seismic survey and piston coring operations in the eastern Falkland Plateau region of the Subantarctic Southwest Atlantic Ocean. This expedition is part of the UK-International Ocean Discovery Program, an international marine research collaboration dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth through drilling, coring, and monitoring the subseafloor.

While in port, on 9 January, Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Fiona Clouder, ship’s Captain, Antonio Gatti and other representatives from the National Oceanography Centre, the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Southampton, are hosting a reception for representatives from local government and the marine sector in Chile. Guests will tour the ship and have opportunity to network about science links between Chile and UK scientists.

On 10 January, Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Fiona Clouder, ship’s Captain, Antonio Gatti and ship’s crew are hosting a visit by students from the University of Magallanes, to give the young scientists of the future, the chance to learn about how research is conducted at sea

The RRS Discovery was designed by A.S. Skipsteknisk and was delivered to the National Oceanography Centre on 8 July 2013. Fitted with the most up-to-date and high-tech instruments and equipment, it is ideal for oceanic exploration.

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is the United Kingdom’s centre of excellence for oceanographic sciences and one of the top 3 oceanographic institutions in the world. It is renowned for its ability to invent cutting-edge technology and to carry out world leading science on a global scale.

With the ability to travel to remote and extreme oceanic environments, RRS Discovery is highly sophisticated and has the ability to operate in high sea states. The ship comes with sub-bottom profiling and multi-beam equipment for mapping the seabed, while her dynamic positioning capability means that Remotely Operated Vehicles can be used. Her wide range of cranes and over-side gantries, with associated winches and wires, will allow many different types of equipment to be deployed from the ship.

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