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RRS Discovery (1962)

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Title: RRS Discovery (1962)  
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Subject: National Oceanography Centre, HMS Discovery (1874), Rockall Basin, List of rogue waves, SS Cape Jacob (T-AK-5029)
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RRS Discovery (1962)

RRS Discovery
United Kingdom
Name: RRS Discovery
Owner: NERC National Marine Facilities Division
Builder: Hall Russell, Aberdeen[1]
Yard number: 899[1]
Laid down: 1962
Launched: 3 July 1962 by Mary Viscountess Hailsham
Out of service: 14 December 2012
  • IMO Number: 5090660[2]
  • MMSI Number: 233882000[2]
  • Call Sign: GLNE[2]
  • ICES Code: 74E3
Status: not in service
General characteristics
Class & type:
Tonnage: 3008 tonnes (gross)[1]
Displacement: 4378 tonnes
Length: 90.0 m[2]
Beam: 14.0 m[2]
Draught: 5.52 m (full load)
Depth: 7.83 m[1]
Installed power: 3716 kW
Propulsion: Diesel electric system with 2 × Mirrlees Blackstone ESL6 and 2 × Mirrlees Blackstone ELS9 Mk2 diesels driving a propulsion motor. 360° Azimuthing Bow Thruster unit
Speed: 11.0 knots (max: 12.5 knots)
Endurance: 55 days
Crew: 9 Oficers; 13 Crew; 28 Scientists

RRS Discovery was a British Royal Research Ship operated by NERC.

RRS Discovery (III) was built in Aberdeen in 1962 and named after Robert Falcon Scott's 1901 ship, RRS Discovery. Until 2006, she was the largest general purpose oceanographic research vessel in use in the United Kingdom. Measuring 90 metres in length, and fitted with a broad range of oceanographic equipment, Discovery could also accommodate containerized laboratories. She had berths for 28 scientific staff, and the ability to spend up to 45 days at sea.[3] Her last major overhaul was in 1991,[4] when a new superstructure and power plant were installed and her hull lengthened by 10 metres.[5]

Discovery carried out oceanographic and marine biology research from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. She operated as part of a fleet maintained by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) National Marine Facilities Division (NMFD), along with the larger RRS James Cook.

In February 2000, Discovery observed the largest rogue waves, up to 29.1 metres, recorded by scientific instruments.[6]

Discovery (III) has been replaced by another ship,[7] and after extensive enquiry within the scientific community, the replacement vessel was named "Discovery" (IV).[8] The 1962 vessel retained the name until disposal. The new vessel has been designed by Skipsteknisk AS of Norway and built in Spain by C.N.P. Freire, S.A for delivery in 2013 and to be available for scientific research in 2014.[9]



  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b c d e
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Holliday, NP, MJ Yelland, RW Pascal, VR Swail, PK Taylor, CR Griffiths, and EC Kent (2006). Were extreme waves in the Rockall Trough the largest ever recorded? Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, L05613
  7. ^
  8. ^ confirmed by Alan Thorpe, NERC Chief Executive
  9. ^

External links

  • Natural Environment Research Council
  • Skipsteknisk AS
  • Freire Shipyard
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