FS Laplace Surveys Coast of Brittany

March 27, 2020 (Google Translation) – After a series of calibrations in the harbor of Brest, the Laplace hydrographic vessel left its port base in Brest to conduct a hydrographic campaign off the coast of northern Brittany, from 09 to 20 March. One objective: the nautical safety of boaters and professionals of the sea.

The mission entrusted to the 37 crew members of Laplace can be described as follows: to project a detachment of 11 hydrographers from the Shom (Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy) responsible for measuring the evolution of the seabed, in order to ensure the reliability of map data.

Thanks to the tide gauges set up in the port of Saint-Malo and the two hydrographic stars Goéland and Guillemot , the Shom was able to gather all the data necessary for the most exact updating of the nautical charts. The results are more than positive: more than 60 probes have been reported in order to update the nautical cartography. A wreck was detected, alongside the multibeam echosounder, investigated by diving and repositioned. A 50m offset from the current nautical chart has been corrected. A second object, not listed, was also identified near a secondary channel giving access to the port of Saint-Malo.

Le Laplace also moored two current meters that will collect current data off Saint-Malo. These devices submerged by several tens of meters will ensure recording over several weeks, covering both still water (small tidal coefficients) and large tides. The results will enrich an armament program which aims to operationalize coastal models for forecasting beach trends, waves and currents in an area strongly influenced by the tides.

At the same time, the vessel has increased training at sea in order to guarantee the training of the crew. Firefighting or waterway exercises, man overboard or helm damage exercises, shooting sessions and drift diving have followed one another off the Emerald Coast. We should not forget the ability of Laplace to take sediment samples to verify the nature of the bottom: twelve samples were taken in an environment that was sometimes not very favorable due to the heavy swell.