Film: 3913

Shipping | 1960 | Sound | Colour


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British Royal Navy in South Pacific to chart the coast.
Map showing various pacific islands. Royal Navy vessel drops anchor. On board the ship moored off Fiji
Their mission is to chart the coastline and measure the water depth and record any reefs or wrecks which may be dangerous to shipping. On board are portable radio navigation system, two will be placed on two different Fijian islands. The ship will transmit a signal which will be answered by the portable radios. They will then be able to accurately plot the ships position using triangularisation. Women and children on Fijian island sit on the ground singing as they make baskets etc. Fijian men help the Royal Navy personnel construct a camp and hoist the radio mast. Seaman fills a small fridge with beer, another sets up a small gas cooker. They contact the ship via the portable radio transmitter.
Echo sounder is used to measure water depth. Every two minutes the ship's position is plotted and the depth of water noted. Bar check on the depth sounder. A object is lowered a known depth to see if the echo sounder is functioning correctly. Computer dials and display boards for instruments on the ship. Ship turns around to do another sweep of the area. A seaman with the ship's dog on the deck. Flight deck, helicopter takes off and hovers over the flight deck. Crew below arrange a net on the flight deck and put a large canister or drum in the centre. The net is hauled up and attached to a rope dangling from the hovering helicopter. Seamen climb down a rope with knots in it into an inflatable dingy. Helicopter flies off with drum suspended beneath it. Two divers go into the sea from the inflatable dingy. Underwater, coral and fish. On a Fijian island, a waterfall, palm trees. Drum dropped by helicopter onto the beach. 35 foot boats used in shallow water where the ship can not go. They use two flags erected on two islands to chart their location using triangularisation. They use a sexton to find their longitude and latitude. They also have an echo sounder to read the depth of water. Helicopter lands back on the flight deck of the ship. In the Chart Room on the ship where the information from the survey is being collated. Contour lines drawn on a chart and a man marks coral etc.
In ships radio room an officer is being interviewed about Oceanography. Officer explains the tests he is conducting. On the deck of the ship there are two large winches that carry three miles of cables. On the port side they are collecting samples of the sea bed to send for analysis back to the British Museum. On the starboard side they are collecting sea water samples and testing it for temperature and content etc.
Seaman explains the ships satellite navigation system.
Seamen on Fijian island dancing with the indigenous population, the native women wear grass skirts and garlands of flowers. They dance. around a bonfire. A tribal ceremony. In the ship's galley or mess, seamen sit around drinking beer and telling jokes. Up on deck the ships crew welcome some well dressed visitors to a function, men and women, all white.

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