New British survey sonar vessel begins work

'Forth King' 'Forth King' will be used to survey water depths. Image: Forth Ports

A new survey vessel with the latest multibeam sonar equipment has begun work on the Forth and Tay estuaries.

Forth Ports’ 9m long Forth King, a Cheetah Marine GRP catamaran, built on the Isle of Wight, will work alongside the company’s existing survey vessel, the Calatria, and will be used to survey water depths within and on the approaches to the company’s five ports in the River Forth and at the Port of Dundee on the River Tay. She will also monitor the depth of the shipping channels within both estuaries.

Alan McPherson, chief harbourmaster at Forth Ports, said: “The Forth King will expand our surveying capabilities, not just in terms of the locations it can go to but in the range of services it can provide.”

The Forth King has been fitted with the latest multibeam sonar equipment, which carries out bathymetric surveys to produce a 3D image of the riverbed. It also has a Lidar (radar using laser beams) which can very accurately measure features such as quaysides above the water line. The new vessel is quieter, cheaper to operate and more environmentally friendly than previous survey vessels.

She will be based in the Port of Grangemouth but will be used throughout the River Forth and the River Tay and will also be made available to the operators of other waterways, canals and rivers elsewhere in Scotland.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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