HMS Scott begins Antarctic survey
A Devon-based Royal Navy deep-water survey ship has begun a survey mission in the Antarctic.
HMS Scott has arrived after setting off from its Plymouth base last November. It is the ship's second deployment in the area in two years.
The ship is patrolling areas including the South Sandwich islands, the South Shetland Islands and South Georgia.
It was also in the area to protect Britain's scientific interest, the Royal Navy said.
The vessel is to work for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the UK Hydrographic Office and the British Antarctic Survey around the Antarctic Peninsula.
Her tasks include inspecting fishing vessels, visiting research stations and enforcing the environmental measures of the Antarctic Treaty.
HMS Scott will also continue deep water survey work, mapping seas to ensure safe passage for ships that visit the region.
The ship's commanding officer, Commander George Tabeart, said: "Carrying out this ice patrol is a privilege and a change from our usual tasking of ocean survey.
"Scott has the flexibility to let us carry out a range of activities."
"Safety of life is a paramount concern in these remote waters, so our survey work will ensure tourists can safely visit the pristine environment and witness the abundance of wildlife in Antarctica."
The ship and crew had to endure heavy weather after leaving the Devonport base.
While sailing to the patrol zone, winds of more than 60 knots (110km/h) blasted the ship. It also sailed through 20-foot (6-metre) waves.
The vessel, named after the ill-fated explorer Captain Scott, is one of the largest in the is the Royal Navy's fleet.
It has a displacement of 12,250 metric tonnes and a crew of nearly 80.
During her deployment in 2010, HMS Scott surveyed 3,000 miles (4,800km) of uncharted ocean.