It is going to be the surveillance vessel VAEDDEREN (‘The Ram’) that is going on the voyage circumnavigating the Earth, starting in August 2006 and returning in April 2007, and carrying the third Galatea expedition.
VAEDDEREN belongs to the Danish navy, and during the coming months the ship will be undergoing extensive rebuilding and modernisation so as to make it a suitable and well-functioning place to work for the research scientists, media representatives, crewmembers and others who participate in the expedition. At the same time, it must be furnished with laboratories, advanced apparatus and other equipment that are necessary requirements for the researchers to carry out their research projects.
Not many surveillance vessels have ventured on voyages to places as far away as VAEDDEREN, and this will not be the first time that the vessel has been accompanied by dolphins, or had to deviate from its course to avoid a lone sea turtle migrating across the oceans.
In the course of its career in the Danish navy, VAEDDEREN has performed surveillance voyages in the waters around Greenland and the Faeroe Islands, and the sturdy vessel is able to plough its course through nearly three feet thick ice at sea without any trouble. However, at the end of 1993, VAEDDEREN was chosen for promoting Danish shipbuilding and marine equipment at an international exhibition in Malaysia, and already the following summer, the vessel returned on a voyage to the southern hemisphere, this time as part of a promotion campaign for Danish industry in South Africa.
VAEDDEREN was built at the Svendborg Shipyards in 1990, and entered into the service of the Danish navy in 1992 as one of a total of four frigates of the Thetis class. It measures 112.5 metres from the prow to the stern, and 14.5 metres from port to starboard. After the rebuilding, the vessel will be able to function as a base for approximately 100 persons at a time.
The Danish Expedition Foundation has chosen to leave the ship’s marine helicopter in Denmark. This is partly motivated by the wish to ensure the maximum amount of space for work and laboratory facilities for the research scientists, partly in order to enable the use of a flexible and effective container solution for laboratories, storage, freezer capacity, etc. Instead, the expedition will have access to using chartered helicopters.
The rebuilding of VAEDDEREN is carried out at Karstensen’s Shipyeard A/S in Skagen.
Click here to view an MSPowerPoint briefing on equipment, crew and medical/health facilities.