HMS Echo is decommissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base after 20 year Royal Navy career

SURVEY ship HMS Echo’s 20-year Royal Navy career formally ended today at a decommissioning ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Thursday, 30th June 2022, 4:26 pm

The ship was the first of two Echo-class survey ships – alongside HMS Enterprise, which is still in service – designed for hydrographic and oceanographic operations across the world.

The 5,000-tonne ship was commissioned in Portsmouth but was based at Devonport Naval Base during two decades of service.

HMS Echo’s Commanding Officer, Commander Adam Coles, said: ‘Being trusted with the final command of HMS Echo is a real honour, and I feel privileged to have served in her.’

The ship's company of HMS Echo march off during her decommissioning ceremony held in HMNB Portsmouth

HMS Echo’s colourful Royal Navy career saw her deployed to all corners of the globe, making notable discoveries along the way.

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Formally accepted into the fleet at a flag-raising ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base in November 2002, HMS Echo sailed to Plymouth joining other survey ships at Devonport in December 2002.

She discovered an uncharted sea mountain off the Yemen coast during two years of operations across the Middle and Far East around 2010 and found the wreck of a Second World War cargo ship off the coast of Libya.

The White Ensign is lowered on-board HMS Echo as RM Bugler plays the last post during her decommissioning ceremony held in HMNB Portsmouth.

Closer to home, HMS Echo helped create superior images of the Firth of Clyde and captured three-dimensional images of HMS Dasher, a Second World War aircraft carrier which sank off the Ayrshire coast.

More recently, Echo deployed to the Baltic and Arctic and searched for the wreck of one sunken Second World War cruiser and updating existing information about another, HMS Edinburgh, over whose wreck Echo’s crew held a service of remembrance.

As the White Ensign was lowered on HMS Echo for the final time in Portsmouth, it marked the beginning of a new approach to the Royal Navy’s hydrographic and meteorological operations.

The Future Military Data Gathering programme will see the use of more modern equipment, autonomous systems deployed and the introduction of new survey craft later this year.

Today 30th June 2022 HMS Echo (H87) commanded by Commander Adam Coles RN is decommissioned from service in the Royal Navy during a ceremony at HMNB Portsmouth

The Royal Navy’s hydrographers and meteorological experts will continue to serve aboard ships across the globe but will also deploy in smaller teams around the UK and overseas.

It will also see the Royal Navy work even closer with UK Hydrographic Office.