Plymouth warship squeezes through iconic canal
A Devonport based warship is on her way back home - via one of the most iconic waterways in the world.
HMS Argyll has passed through the Panama Canal, one of the busiest maritime chokepoints, at the end of her successful South Atlantic deployment.
The trip means the ship will be sailing two seas in one day – as the 50-mile long canal allows ships to sail between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in just ten hours.
HMS Argyll, a Plymouth-based ship, had to negotiate some of the narrower points of the canal at 500 feet in width and navigate through locks raising her to around 54 foot above sea level.
During the transit of the Panama Canal the ship’s company raced the Type-23 frigate through the canal on a rowing machine - a distance of 80.47 kilometres.
A total of 67 sailors rowed 1000 metres, some twice, all of them straining to ensure the distance was covered in the shortest possible time.
Leading Physical Training Instructor Baz Chambers said: “This event was put on to inject some fun and competitive spirit into our Panama Canal transit.
“The rowers beat the ship by two hours, eight minutes and 26 seconds which shows the commitment and the levels of fitness onboard.”
HMS Argyll has just finished an intense period of counter-narcotics operations in the Eastern Pacific.
She has made the spectacular journey through the canal to continue her deployment and will now take part in further counter-narcotics work and regional engagement visits before returning to her Devonport home next month.