HMS Echo returns following a discovery the size of Gibraltar

Update
HMS Echo returns following a discovery the size of Gibraltar

06/08/12
JDW/06/08/

HMS Echo returns following a discovery the size of Gibraltar



HMS ECHO and will return to Gibraltar on Tuesday the 7th August for a few days before heading back to the UK marking the end of an 18 month deployment.
At the beginning of 2011 ECHO was sent east of Suez to help improve charts of the region’s waters and gather key hydrographic data.

In July 2012 ECHO made a previously uncharted discovery when she found an underwater ‘sea mount’ the size of the Rock of Gibraltar beneath the Red Sea.
The hi-tech sonar suites of the Devonport-based survey ship mapped the huge feature for the first time, and it will now be marked on charts to prevent other seafarers running into it.

“We were actually looking for volcanoes, the southern Red Sea region has seen a significant amount of recent tectonic and volcanic activity with several volcanoes emerging from the sea close to the Yemeni coast line,” said Cdr Matt Syrett, ECHO’s Commanding Officer.

“We didn’t find any. But we did find this. It is absolutely massive. And finding it is something which really makes everybody on board feel good.

Yemeni fishermen evidently knew the mount existed and ECHO found a dhow anchored on its summit as she carried out her survey of the area.

But existing charts of the area suggested the sea was 385 metres (1,263ft) deep, however, ECHO collected reams of information with her sounders to prove otherwise.

After processing all that information the powerful computers aboard the ship produced the stunning 3D imagery which revealed the true extent of the mount.
It rises to just 40 metres (131ft) below the surface of the Red Sea. It may be deeper than the deepest draught of any civilian or military surface ship, but it is definitely a danger to submarines passing between the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

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HMS Echo returns following a discovery the size of Gibraltar

discovery Echo following Gibraltar returns size



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