HMS Herald (H138)
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|Name:||HMS Herald (H138)|
|Builder:||Robb Caledon, Leith|
|Laid down:||9 November 1972|
|Launched:||4 October 1973|
|Completed:||22 November 1974|
|Decommissioned:||31 May 2001|
|Out of service:||Sold to private hydrographic company in 2001|
|Refit:||Fitted with a strengthened and extended flight deck for Lynx helicopter, 1988|
|Identification:||IMO number: 7330349|
|Fate:||Scrapped in 2004.|
|Length:||79 m (259 ft 2 in)|
|Beam:||15.4 m (50 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.9 m (16 ft 1 in)|
|Range:||12,000 nmi (22,000 km) at 11 kn (20 km/h)|
|Boats & landing |
|2 × 35 ft (11 m) surveying motor boats|
|Complement:||12 officers and 116 men|
|Sensors and |
|Aviation facilities:||Helideck for 1 × Westland Lynx HAS 2/3|
Design and construction
The Hecla-class were designed as combined hydrographic and oceanagraphic survey ships, built to merchant ship standards and of similar design to RRS Discovery. Herald was the fourth ship of the class and was built to an improved design to the three earlier Heclas. She was laid down at the Scottish shipbuilder Robb Caledon's Leith shipyard on 9 November 1971, was launched on 4 October 1973 and completed on 31 October 1974. She had the Pennant number A138.
Herald was 260 feet 2 inches (79.3 m) long, with a beam of 49 feet 3 inches (15.0 m) and a draught of 15 feet 5 inches (4.7 m). Displacement was 2,000 long tons (2,000 t) standard and 2,945 long tons (2,992 t) full load. She had diesel-electric propulsion, with three Paxman Ventura 12-cylinder diesel engines rated at 1,280 brake horsepower (950 kW) powering two electric motors, rated at a total of 2,000 horsepower (1,500 kW) and driving one propeller shaft, giving a speed of 14 knots (16 mph; 26 km/h). She had a range of 12,000 nautical miles (14,000 mi; 22,000 km) at a speed of 11 knots (13 mph; 20 km/h).  The ship had a complement of 128 officers and other ranks.
In January 1979, Herald, along with sister ship Hydra and the smaller survey ships Fawn and Fox, was carrying out survey operations off the coast of Iran when she was diverted to pick up about 60 British and American dependents from the port of Bandar Abbas in the wake of the Iranian Revolution.
In December 2000, Herald answered a Mayday call and took part in a joint operation with the Royal Air Force to rescue the crew of the Cypriot ferry Royal Prince. The 35-metre ship sank in rough seas, but the crew were rescued by a RAF helicopter from RAF Akrotiri and landed on HMS Herald.
After decommissioning, Herald joined her sister HMS Hecla in Waterford after a brief re-fit in Cork dockyard. She was renamed Somerville after Admiral James Somerville and was used for a hydrographic survey in Irish waters. The ship was sold in 2004 to Indian breakers and beached on 18 June of that year.
- Moore 1979, p. 616
- Couhat & Baker 1986, p. 204
- Couhat & Baker 1986, pp. 204–205
- "Herald and Fawn in Iran Missions". Navy News. February 1979. p. 2. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- "Red Crosses". Navy News. July 1982. p. 1.
- "HERALD HMS (A 138) hydrographic survey vessel". shipstamps.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "HMS Herald H138 - IMO 7330349". shipspotting.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- Couhat, Jean Laybayle; Baker, A. D., eds. (1986). Combat Fleets of the World 1986/87: Their Ships, Aircraft and Armament. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85368-860-5.
- Moore, John, ed. (1979). Jane's Fighting Ships 1979–80. London: Jane's Yearbooks. ISBN 0-354-00587-1.