New Royal Navy survey ship Magpie debuts on the Dart

Late summer holidaymakers watch as the Royal Navy’s newest vessel makes her way up the Kingsbridge Estuary on her maiden visit to her affiliate town. Late summer holidaymakers watch as the Royal Navy’s newest vessel makes her way up the Kingsbridge Estuary on her maiden visit to her affiliate town.

Catamaran HMS Magpie has spent three days at sea under the White Ensign for the first time as her crew get to know how the survey ship handles.

A replacement for HMS Gleaner which retired earlier in 2018 after 35 years’ service, Magpie was commissioned in June – the first of numerous new small craft the Royal Navy is acquiring to replace ageing work/support boats.

Magpie spent two days on the Dart before calling in on the small fishing port/resort of Salcombe – her affiliated town where Mayor Nikki Turton was waiting to greet Lieutenant Commander William Alexander and his small ship’s company, before being given a quick tour of the 18-metre catamaran.

Magpie is tasked with surveying the places other parts of the RN Hydrographic Squadron cannot reach thanks to her size and shallow draught.

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