A sharp-eyed Royal Navy sailor from Weymouth serving on a mine-hunter has helped find an unknown shipwreck on one of the world’s busiest tanker routes.
The crew of HMS Shoreham were practising using the ship’s hi-tech sonar suite off the coast of Abu Dhabi when Able Seaman Tash Kennedy picked up an unexpected contact on the display in the minehunter’s operations room.
The ship’s small, wire-guided submersible robot, which is usually deployed to survey potential mines, investigated and sent back camera images – later identified by the ship’s divers.
Tash, a former pupil of Budmouth Technology College, said: “The past seven months have flown by. “I joined the Royal Navy to experience something different and I’ve loved every minute of it.’’ She joined the Navy in 2011 and the ship at the end of last year after completing professional training.
The wreck is thought to be a dhow – commonplace in the Gulf and Indian Ocean and used primarily for fishing.
The 25-metre-long wreck is in the centre of a traffic separation scheme regularly used by heavily-laden oil tankers; a third of the world’s sea-borne oil comes from the Gulf.
Details of the wreck have been passed on to the UK Hydrographic Office in Taunton which produces Admiralty Charts.
HMS Shoreham is one of four Royal Navy minehunters based in Bahrain, with the crew rotating every seven or eight months before returning to the UK.