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Robert.Jervis_43227 Apr 20

Bristol Port’s herogram for the NHS

Bristol Port’s herogram for the NHS image
An NHS herogram visible from space via satellite imagery has been carved into the waters of the Bristol Channel
A crew at Bristol Port paid their own special tribute to healthcare workers, using a satellite tracker to expertly spell out ‘♡NHS’ across the entrances of Royal Portbury and Avonmouth Docks.

By plotting an intricate course on the GPS system of the Port’s work boat, the Graham Robertson, the crew was able to craft a message which it knew would be captured by satellites tracking the vessel on a live global ship tracking website.

Captain Jack Fryatt said:

"I thought it would be a unique way to show our appreciation to the NHS. We are key workers at the Port but we have the deepest respect for all the doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers on the frontline and hope this message goes some way to showing how thankful we are for what they are doing.”

The image was posted across social media by the Port and has already been seen by more than 30,000 people.

The Port explained that every commercial vessel has an inbuilt Automatic Identification System (AIS) unit which sends a signal to a satellite, so that a ship’s location can be tracked. It is also used to help vessels planning their route as they can see where other ships are, and has been adopted by many enthusiasts for ship spotting.

The Graham Robertson had yesterday been completing regular dredging it undertakes to give vessels safe passage in and out of the Port. The Port has remained open throughout the pandemic, delivering critical supplies into the city, region and nation.

Captain Fryatt said the crew had finished their operations for the day and were waiting for a ship to leave Avonmouth Dock, so that they could lock back in, when they took the opportunity to plot a short detour and create the special tribute.