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The University of Southampton

All ship-shape as Callista sails in for her research role

Published: 16 August 2005

Students at the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science are set to benefit from the arrival of a purpose-built research vessel this week.

The catamaran RV Callista, which was constructed in Finland, is currently sailing across the North Sea and the English Channel to her new home in Southampton. She is expected to arrive at Empress Dock, alongside the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, at midday on Thursday 18 August with her skipper Graham Etheridge and members of the School on board.

Callista will be instrumental in training up the next generation of ocean and earth scientists and is due to be operational in time for the new academic year. Based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, she will be used for research, outreach and teaching, particularly student fieldwork. With a robust 'A' frame mounted on the stern, she is capable of deploying equipment weighing 3 tonnes - essential for commercially-commissioned work.

With capacity for up to 30 passengers the 20-metre Callista will be an impressive addition to the School's fleet of inshore craft. The catamaran has a working deck aft, a wet lab amidships and a dry lab forward - all with wheelchair access.

Notes for editors

  1. The name Callista is taken from the bivalve (shellfish) genus Callista, which is found in fossilised form in the South of England.
  2. Callista is expected to arrive in Southampton at midday on Thursday 18 August. Members of the School plan to join the vessel in the Solent off Portsmouth on Thursday morning.
  3. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.
  4. Formerly known as Southampton Oceanography Centre, the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton is a joint partnership between the University of Southampton and the Natural Environment Research Council. The Centre provides all aspects of research, training, teaching, technology and support services in ocean and earth science. Its Director is Professor Ed Hill. The Centre is one of the world's largest institutions devoted to research, teaching and technological developments in ocean and earth science.
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