Almeida Carvalho

Hydrographic ship Ex-NRP Almeida de Carvalho A527

Construction started in 1961 at the Marietta Shipbuilding Co. shipyard in California, however, in the summer of 1965 the ship was struck by a merchant navy vessel and a floating crane that the passing typhoon "Betsy" had broken loose, sinking it in nearly nine metres of water and listing 120º to the starboard side, which did not completely prevent it sinking.

Salvage operations began in September the same year and in November the ship was afloat again. However, the recovery work on the ship was done by another shipyard in New Orleans, Boland Machine and Manufacturing Company and in January 1969 the "Kellar" was put into service for the American Navy.

With 85% of the work that had been done lost to the disaster, the reconstruction of the ship was delayed due to natural factors, such as the flooding of the Ohio river and the tough winter that were felt strongly, causing several epidemics of influenza, and others that were linked to the shipyard itself, specifically strikes by workers and the financial difficulties of the constructor.

Once recovered and the work concluded, it entered into service for the US Navy in January 1969, named "Kellar".

It was later acquired by Portugal and incorporated into the fleet of the Armed Forces on January 21st 1972, and it entered Lisbon for the first time on March 12th 1972 and undertook the activities of the Hydrographical Institute.

In 1981 it undertook a cruise of almost two months in the Republic of Cape Verde and in 1984 it docked in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau to carry out several studies, specifically on the Cacheu river.

After Ordinance 1839/02 on December 4th 2002 it was disarmed with a view to its retirement from the fleet of the Armed Forces.

General Characteristics

Launch: July 30th 1964;

Effective entry date to the Armed Forces: January 21st, 1972.
The ship initially served the US Navy until being acquired by the Portuguese Armed Forces;

Disarmed: December 4th 2002 (Ordinance 1839/02, December 4th);

Scrapped: November 15th 2006;

Years of Service: 34;

Heraldry: Coat of arms and standard awarded on June 29th, 1977;

NATO Designation: A527;

Type: Hydrographical Ship;

Crew: 47 crewmembers (7 Officers; 9 Sergeants; 31 Sailors);
Compared to the American crew, the Portuguese crewed the boat with more sergeants and fewer officers.

Construction: started in 1961 and concluded in 1968.

Particular characteristics of the hydrographical ship:

a) Area of 148m2 split between:

  • Design room;
  • Dry laboratory and wet laboratory;
  • 60m2 of locker space.

b) For sounding in shallow waters:

  • one 8m boat.

c) For precision positioning work the ship could be operated at distance, rudder and engine;

d) Scope for the embarkation and accommodation of a technical/research team;

e) Air conditioning system for any type of climate;

f) Reinforced hull for navigation in icy seas.

For further information, please consult the reference at the Hydrographical Institute.

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