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HMS Protector - Christmas greetings from the bottom of the Earth

HMS Protector Christmas greeting

21/12/2012

The crew of HMS Protector have today wished their family and friends back in the UK a very Merry Christmas from the South Pole. Portsmouth based ice breaker, HMS Protector arrived in Antarctica earlier this month for the first time this season where she will spend the Austral Summer.

Portsmouth based ice breaker, HMS Protector arrived in Antarctica earlier this month for the first time this season where she will spend the Austral Summer.

During her eight month deployment, she will utilise her multi beam echo sounder and deploy her survey motor boat to ensure the UK provides cutting-edge, hydrographic imagery of the Antarctic region. Around 80% of the world’s charts are provided by the Royal Navy’s hydrographic department.

The ship, affiliated with the City of Cambridge, will also assist with the re-supply of British Antarctic Survey stations in the region.

HMS Protector is equipped with a flotilla of small boats, including: the state-of-the-art survey motor boat, ‘JAMES CAIRD IV’; a. 8.5m ramped Work Boat, ‘TERRA NOVA’, and; two Pacific 22 rigid inflatable boats (‘AURORA’ and ‘NIMROD’).
 
Three BV206 all-terrain vehicles and four quad bikes, complete with trailers, will also be carried and craned directly onto the ice to assist with the re-supply of British Antarctic Survey scientific stations.

The ship was designed and built in 2001 as an Antarctic research and expeditionary ship. She is fitted with two main deck cranes and three internal holds and can position to within a radius of just 70 centimetres in winds of up to 40 knots (74km/h).

Protector has a historic connection with Britain's Antarctic commitment - it was the name of the ship, which preceded the former Endurance (1968-91) in the South Atlantic role. Office, the UK Hydrographic Office and the British Antarctic Survey.

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