Royal Navy minehunter HMS Quorn has used her specialist equipment to detect two unlit and uncharted buoys in the middle of the Gulf that presented a danger to local shipping. The ship spotted the mooring buoys in the waters of a busy shipping lane while on a recent multi-national minehunting exercise in the Gulf.
Using her highly accurate global positioning system and high-resolution mine-hunting sonar to pinpoint the position of both buoys, HMS Quorn provided the local authority with details of their mooring arrangements.
These details were forwarded to the Middle East Navigation Aids Service (MENAS) and immediately issued to mariners in the area via radio broadcast.
HMS Quorn’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Simon Kelly, 39, said:
“The two buoys were substantial structures and posed a significant danger to vessels in their vicinity, particularly the lightly-built fishing and merchant dhows that rely on this environment for their livelihoods.
“They were unlit, and would have become nearly impossible to see at night at sufficient range.
“By locating and reporting this danger to navigation HMS Quorn has prevented a potentially highly-dangerous situation from developing and safeguarded the wellbeing of the local mariners and their industry.”
HMS Quorn is one of four Royal Navy minehunters based in the Gulf where they primarily use the warm, shallow waters as valuable training for their mine detection skills.
The recent exercise was called the International Mine Counter Measures Exercise (IMCMEX) and saw 40 countries descend on the region to practise keeping shipping lanes clear of mines and test their ability to all work together.
Press Release, May 30, 2013; Image: Royal Navy