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Joakim Edvardsson, captain of the Skagerak, shows King Carl XVI Gustaf and other guests around the ship. Here they are on the bridge.
Joakim Edvardsson, captain of the Skagerak, shows King Carl XVI Gustaf and other guests around the ship. Here they are on the bridge.
Photo: Johan Wingborg
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Research vessel Skagerak inaugurated by HM King Carl XVI Gustaf

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“The goal of this floating laboratory is to make our country world leading in ocean research, education and outreach. It’s a fine goal, and I wish all researchers success and good luck.” This was stated by HM King Carl XVI Gustaf in his speech, when R/V Skagerak was inaugurated on 15 October. The ceremony took place with the help of a champagne bottle made of ice, which the King swung towards the hull.

County Governor Anders Danielsson explained in his speech that we affect the sea, while the sea also affects us.

“Even if the researchers' models are ever so good, some of the knowledge must be collected on site. It can be about how strong the Gulf Stream is, where all the plastic debris comes from, or what the ocean floor consists of. When rain falls on land, it can feel like the problems disappear, but they actually end up in the ocean, below the surface. There’s a lot going on in the ocean that we do not yet fully understand, but Skagerak will increase our knowledge, both about the ocean and about ourselves.” 

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Sebastiaan Swart at the Department of Marine Sciences tells HM King Carl XVI Gustaf , Vice-Chancellor Eva Wiberg and County Gove
Sebastiaan Swart at the Department of Marine Sciences demonstrates some of the ship’s equipment to HM King Carl XVI Gustaf, Vice-Chancellor Eva Wiberg, and County Governor Anders Danielsson.
Photo: Johan Wingborg

Vice-Chancellor Eva Wiberg said that the surface of the planet Mars is more explored than the great depths of the ocean, and that it takes an enormous amount of continuous research to address the many challenges our planet is facing.

“I think we all, both employees and students at the University of Gothenburg, are very proud of our wonderful research vessel. We hope that the ship will serve and support our researchers and students, but also that it will assist and help other universities within and outside Sweden. The marine area covers a lot of complex issues that are best managed in collaboration, both between disciplines, between universities, and not least, between countries.”

HM King Carl XVI Gustaf also pointed out that the years 2021–2030 have been designated by the UN as a decade for ocean science.

“I hope that Skagerak will play an important role for Sweden's participation in the field. From what I understand, the ship is also a talent magnet that has attracted prominent scientists from all over the world. This, of course, strengthens our country as a research nation. I hope I get an opportunity to visit one of the ship's future expeditions, and I wish good luck to all researchers.”

The King christened the ship with a champagne bottle which, for environmental reasons, was made of ice and filled with sparkling water. 

BY: Eva Lundgren

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HM King Carl XVI Gustaf swings the ice bottle towards Skagerak's hull.
HM King Carl XVI Gustaf swings the ice bottle towards Skagerak's hull. 
Photo: Johan Wingborg
Facts about R/V Skagerak

R/V Skagerak is the University of Gothenburg's new vessel for education and research.

The vessel is 49 meters long, 11 meters wide and has a displacement of 1,000 tonnes. It has a crew of 5 people and accommodates 16 researchers and students. Home port is Nya Varvet, Gothenburg.

The ship offers new research opportunities throughout the global ocean, including areas with limited ice cover, and will contribute to a greater understanding of the global processes in the Earth's climate and marine environment.

R/V Skagerak was inaugurated on 15 October 2021. Guests at the ceremony were, beside H.M King Carl XVI Gustaf, representatives of Region Västra Götaland; the County Administrative Board; the City of Gothenburg; the University Management; the R/V Skagerak steering and project group; the Faculty of Science; and the ship’s crew.

In the afternoon, employees at the University of Gothenburg could get a guided yur of the ship.