HMS Protector Surveys Darkdale Wreck Off St Helena Island

HMS Protector Surveys Darkdale Wreck Off Island of St Helena

The ice patrol ship HMS Protector has returned, after seventy-one years, to the spot where Darkdale went down in James Bay to survey the wreck using her suite of the latest sonar technology.

In 1941, St Helena served as an important staging post in the war against the U-boat in the South Atlantic. Darkdale arrived off the island that summer, providing fuel for passing Royal Navy warships such as carrier HMS Eagle and cruiser HMS Dorsetshire.

The tanker was anchored off the island’s capital Jamestown on the night of October 21-22 when she was struck by at least three torpedoes fired by Germany’s seventh-highest-scoring U-boat ace, Korvettenkapitän Karl-Friedrich Merten, in U68.

Darkdale exploded, turned over and sank almost immediately, taking 41 men aboard down; only two men who where on deck and blown clear by the blast survived.

The wreck may still hold a significant amount of fuel oil which, if discharged, could have a significant environmental impact on the island.

The wreck is currently being examined by the salvage and marine operations arm of the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation to assess the state and potential environmental impact.

The accurate positioning of what remains of the tanker will be used for any future monitoring and salvage work that may be required.

As is tradition in the Royal Navy, time was also taken to hold an act of remembrance over the wreck, after Protector’s divers had revisited the wreck to lay a Union Jack on it.

“It was a great privilege to be able to play a small part in remembering those that played such a big part in making Britain and the Royal Navy what it is today,” said Leading Diver Chris Hayes.

During her short visit, the ship also took the opportunity to carry out further bathymetric and shore survey work in the Jamestown area, including an entire circumnavigation of the island which will help to produce more up-to-date charts, making it safer for other ships and boats to visit.

Capt Peter Sparkes and his crew of 65 also took the opportunity to host the island’s dignitaries and give a tour of the ship to a group of local children.

There was also time for the crew to step ashore, visit the local tourist hot spots, such as Napoleon’s residence in exile, climb the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder and sample some local hospitality. The football match between the ship’s team and islanders resulted in a thumping 8-0 defeat for the ‘Ice Men’.

The island’s governor Mark Capes – who’s also responsible for the other remote South Atlantic British territories of Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha – sent a message of thanks to the Portsmouth-based survey ship for calling in:

“The loyal and proudly British community of St Helena was delighted to see HMS Protector arrive in James’ Bay. The visit reinforced all the positive messages that Her Majesty’s Government remains committed to helping to ensure the security and prosperity of St Helena.”

Protector is bound for Antarctica to spend a second Austral summer surveying the waters around the frozen continent and providing support to scientists.

Before her first stint amongst the ice she’s calling in on Simon’s Town in South Africa to carry out last-minute maintenance and work to ensure the 5,000-tonne icebreaker is ready for the rigours of Antarctica.

“It is always good to visit the home of another nation’s navy – especially one that has a rich history of association with the Royal Navy,” said Capt Sparkes.

“I hope Protector’s visit can re-affirm the strong professional and operational bonds that already exist between the Royal Navy and South African Navy.”

His ship will be in Simon’s Town for around ten days before paying a courtesy visit to Tristan da Cunha, surveying the waters around the island, then moving on to Antarctica.

Press Release, October 19, 2012

Share this article

Follow Subsea World News

Events>

<< Feb 2016 >>
MTWTFSS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 1 2 3 4 5 6

FPSO Europe Congress

 

Pursuing Cost-Optimization & Project Excellence across Europe’s FPSO Value Chain!

Launched to great success in 2015, the FPSO Europe Congress is set to return on 24-25 February 2016 in London for yet another exciting gathering of Europe’s leading oil operators, FPSO contractors, EPCs, shipyards and solution providers to discuss the most topical and critical FPSO developments in the North Sea, Latin America, Brazil and West Africa market.

 

Why Attend the 2nd Annual FPSO Europe Congress?

  • Discover how FPSO leaders are embracing the new realities of a low oil price environment – what are the strategies to adopt in pursuit of viable economical FPSO projects?
  • Brainstorm with industry experts on innovative FPSO engineering, construction and technology breakthroughs leading to significant CAPEX and OPEX savings
  • Review, refine and optimize your existing FPSO operations – how can we enhance oil recovery and extend FPSO asset lifetime?
  • Learn from FPSO experts on the ins-and-outs of delivering successful FSPO projects in North Sea, West Africa, Latin America and Brazil – how can we comply with local content and form effective native partnerships?
  • Engage and form sustainable partnerships with European-based oil companies and FPSO contractors that are leading offshore E&P and FPSO projects in the region

 

2016 FPSO Distinguished Speakers Include:

  • Curtis Lohr, Stones Project Manager, Shell
  • David Hartell, Senior Development Manager, Premier Oil
  • Terry Hughes, Project Director, Tullow Oil
  • Sid Sircar, Facilities Delivery Manager – Catcher Development, Premier Oil
  • Michael Wyllie, Group Technology Director, SBM Offshore
  • Chris Brett, President, Teekay Offshore
  • Puneet Sharma, Vice President, MODEC
  • Eirik Barclay, CEO, Yinson Production

 

The FPSO Europe Congress 2016 is proud to bring you an updated program offering fresh perspectives, creative solutions and critical market intelligence fundamental to FPSO business sustainability as we discuss just HOW and WHAT you can do in pursuit of a viable, efficient and safe FPSO strategy.

For more information please visit the website at http://goo.gl/uvYsrk or email rani.kuppusamy@fpsonetwork.com

 

read more >

Topsides Platforms & Hulls

Topsides, Platforms & Hulls Conference & Exhibition is the offshore industry’s only event dedicated to the topsides, platforms and hulls…

read more >

The 16th North Sea Decommissioning Conference

The 2016-programme has been composed to shed light on the effect of the current low oil-price environment on the decommissioning market…

read more >

Substructures for UK Offshore Wind

Design, construction and installation

Optimising offshore substructures is one of the key challenges for reducing LCOE. Foundation designers have produced a variety of different solutions: monopiles, GBS, jackets, suction buckets and floating foundations. Looking at U.K. projects – different soils, water depths,fabrication timelines and installation challengescreate many questions for the industry to solve. We’re entering uncharted territory; projects arelarger, farther and more complex than ever completed.

Now is the time to have a close look at lessons learnt and define the room for improvement for the U.K. wind industry.

More Info

read more >