HMS Hecate (A137)

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History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Hecate (A137)
Builder: Yarrows Yard Scotstoun Glasgow
Christened: By Lady Yarrow
Decommissioned: 1990
Homeport: Plymouth
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,800 tons full load
Length: 79 m (259 ft 2 in)
Beam: 15.4 m (50 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.9 m (16 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: 3 × Paxman Ventura V-12 diesel engines
Speed:
  • 11 kn (20 km/h) cruise
  • 14 kn (26 km/h) maximum
Range: 12,000 nmi (22,000 km) at 11 kn (20 km/h)
Complement: 121 (13 officers and 6 scientists)
Armament: 2 × Oerlikon 20 mm guns
Aircraft carried: 1 × Westland Wasp light helicopter
Aviation facilities: Hangar workshop rear of flight deck
Service record
Operations: Falklands War

HMS Hecate (A137) was a Royal Navy deep ocean survey vessel of the Hecla-class. She was present at the "presentation of fleet colours" review in Torbay on 29 July 1969, the ship was decommissioned in 1990.

In April 1971, two launches attached to HMS Hecate were towed out to sea and bombed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army while the vessels were moored at Baltimore, Republic of Ireland. One of the launches, the Stork, was wrecked, while the other boat, the Puffin, survived with minor damage. HMS Hecate was carrying out a hydrographic survey in collaboration with the government of the Republic.[1][2]

In the mid-1970s HMS Hecate was in the Persian Gulf surveying the entrance areas in the event of conflicts while based in Bandar Abbas, Iran.

During the Falklands War, Hecate, unlike her sister ships, was painted grey and sent south to assume HMS Endurance's role as the Ice Patrol Ship. Arriving on station after the ceasefire, Hecate conducted patrols and surveys in the South Atlantic. Hecate visited British Antarctic Survey bases and spent Christmas in Grytviken, South Georgia, where the crew attended a candlelit Christmas mass in the settlement's old whaling church. The New Year was spent at the Falkland Islands before Hecate became the first Royal Navy ship to visit South America following the hostilities. Hecate embarked a Chilean pilot at Punta Arenas before sailing to Talcahuano, Chile via the Patagonian Channel. Following a brief visit, Hecate took passage through the Panama Canal for a four-day visit to Antigua. Hecate returned to the UK in February, 1983.

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