RV Cefas Endeavour

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
RV CEFAS Endeavour
Cefas Endeavour moored in the Inner Harbour, Lowestoft
Red Ensign (UK)
Name: Cefas Endeavour
Owner: P&O Maritime Services
Builder: Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow
Yard number: 712[1]
Launched: 2002 August 14
In service: 2003
Homeport: Lowestoft
General characteristics
Tonnage: 2983 GRT, 894 NRT
Displacement: 2,983 t (2,936 long tons)
Length: 73 m (239 ft 6 in)
Beam: 16 m (52 ft 6 in)
Draught: 5.5 m (18 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: 3 × diesel AC generators; 2 × tandem electric DC motors, single screw; bow thruster; stern thruster
Speed: 14.4 knots (16.6 mph; 26.7 km/h)
Complement: 19 scientists, 16 crew

RV Cefas Endeavour is an ocean-going fisheries research vessel which is based at the port of Lowestoft and is operated by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas).[2][3] She is used to support all aspects of Cefas activities from fish stock surveys to launching autonomous monitoring equipment.


A small striped red mullet, a fish, swims in the bottom left of an underwater image of the seabed. The background is one of rippled sand.
A striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus) in the English Channel taken using imaging equipment aboard Cefas Endeavour

Cefas Endeavour was constructed at Ferguson Shipbuilders in Glasgow.[4] She was named by Lindsay Murray, Cefas' science area head for environmental management at Burnham-on-Crouch, who is also wife of the chief executive Peter Greig-Smith.[4] The naming ceremony took place on 20 June 2003.[4]

The ship was built to replace the former research vessel RV Cirolana, and is designed to minimise underwater noise, which minimises fish disturbance and ensures better results from sonar equipment.[4] Operation is currently outsourced by Cefas to P&O Maritime Services.[5]

On 7 November 2003 she was at Duchy Wharf, Falmouth, for unspecified minor repairs.[6] In 2014, her captain was reported as Paul Kersey.[7]

From circa 2008 to 2011, Cefas Endeavour completed a survey – the East Coast Regional Environmental Characterisation – to discover more about the seabed from north Norfolk to Walberswick, covering an area of 3,300 square kilometres (1,300 sq mi).[8] Combining data with existing records, researchers were able to produce maps on tidal patterns, water temperature, and general biodiversity.[8] The aim of the survey was to map and record features such as sub-tidal reefs and sandbanks.[8] The team also discovered the wreck of HMS Exmoor, several Second World War aircraft, and hand axes, cores, and flakes dating from the Palaeolithic period.[8] They also discovered a specimen of Rissoides desmaresti, a rare mantis shrimp that was previously unknown in the area.[8]

In summer 2011, the ship was carrying MARINElife researchers, and spotted 20 endangered fin whales, in five pods, for approximately 30 minutes.[9] According to Tom Brereton, a research director from Marine Life, these were very unusual numbers to see at the same time.[9]


The ship has been involved in a number of rescues:

  • In April 2004, 207 miles south-west of the Scilly Isles, the yacht Silent Annie sent a mayday call after a man on board was suffering from chest pains.[10][11] Cefas Endeavour responded, and the man was subsequently airlifted by an RNAS Culdrose (HMS Seahawk) helicopter to the Royal Cornwall Hospital.[10][11] The yacht later sent out another distress signal; after a search by Falmouth coastguard, the Spanish Coast Guard Service, a Hawker Siddeley Nimrod from RAF Kinloss and a merchant vessel (the Gemini 1), the yacht was found by the merchant vessel to have a broken mast, and the remaining crewman was taken on board before being airlifted to A Coruña by a Spanish rescue helicopter.[11]
  • In May 2013, the ship assisted with a search of the English Channel, approximately 30 miles south of Plymouth, where a man had been spotted in the water.[12] No person was found.[12]
  • At 20:00 on 4 May 2014, the ship responded to a distress call: two people aboard a 22-foot (6.7 m) yacht which was adrift in Weymouth Bay after suffering a complete electrical failure.[13] Her fast rescue boat was launched, and towed the boat back into her mooring at Castle Cove, Weymouth.[13]
  • In 2015, she assisted in the rescue of the 10-metre (33 ft) motor cruiser Lanpuki, whose three-person crew were unable to restart their failed engine.[14] A tow-line was attached off Kessingland, and Cefas Endeavour towed the cruiser to the Stamford Channel, where they rendezvoused with the Lowestoft lifeboat Patsy Knight, which took the stricken yacht into the moorings at Lowestoft yacht club.[14]

Local events[edit]

Cefas Endeavour's crew take part in the Macmillan Cancer Support yearly coffee morning, and in 2010 raised £850 for charity, with their 2011 target being £1000.[15][16] In 2014, she took part in an international commemorative event organised by UNESCO and the International Maritime Organization to commemorate 100 years since Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, leading to the start of World War I.[17] She flew her ensign at half-mast from 08:00 to 18:30 and sounded her horn for 30 seconds at 6pm.[7]

The ship also helps the University of Exeter, by allowing joint research projects in which students can join the Cefas Endeavour for scientific cruises.[18]


  1. ^ "Cefas Endeavour". ClydeSite.co.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2011.  mirror
  2. ^ "Cefas Endeavour: Vessel Specification Sheet" (PDF). P&O Maritime Services. Retrieved 9 November 2011.  mirror
  3. ^ "CEFAS ENDEAVOUR" (PDF). CEFAS.  mirror
  4. ^ a b c d "New Ship Will Carry Out Fish Research". Aberdeen Press and Journal. 21 June 2003. 
  5. ^ "New Cefas vessel contract". Cefas. Retrieved 12 May 2011.  mirror
  6. ^ "New Owners And Name For Tanker At Anchor In Port". The West Briton. 13 November 2003. p. 55. 
  7. ^ a b "War Tribute". Lowestoft Journal. 4 July 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Tubby, Trevor (5 May 2011). "Scientists delve deeper to discover what lies beneath". Eastern Daily Press. 
  9. ^ a b Editor, John Ingham Environment (8 June 2011). "90ft giant whales race to Britain". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Helicopter airlifts sick yachtsman". Western Morning News. Plymouth. 30 April 2004. p. 4. 
  11. ^ a b c "Two distress calls received from yacht". The Cornishman. 13 May 2004. p. 6. 
  12. ^ a b "Search for man overboard after ferry sighting". Western Morning News. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Coastguard round-up: Divers rescued by helicopter, dog survives cliff fall, and yacht towed to safety". Dorset Echo. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Boggis, Mark (7 August 2015). "Lowestoft lifeboat called to aid two vessels in difficulties". Lowestoft Journal. 
  15. ^ Hindle, Mark (29 September 2011). "Region unites over a cup of coffee in aid of charity". Eastern Daily Press. 
  16. ^ "Thousands enjoy a coffee and celebrate a centenary". Eastern Daily Press. 1 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Bygrave, Melanie (27 June 2014). "Special event to be held". Lowestoft Journal. 
  18. ^ "University links with research teams". Western Morning News. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 

External links[edit]