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        HMS Endurance

        HMS Endurance

        HMS Endurance started life as the the Norwegian passenger/research vessel MV Polar Circle, but in November 1991 she was chartered as HMS Polar Circle, and a year later was bought outright as the new HMS Endurance. Endurance’s strengthened hull – painted red to aid visibility against the ice, giving her the soubriquet ‘the Red Plum’ – allows her to smash her way through a metre of ice at 3 knots.

        HMS Endurance

        She regularly sailed south from Portsmouth in the autumn to carry out hydrographic work and support the British Antarctic Survey during the austral summer, while also providing a presence in the South Atlantic and Falklands.

        Her near-foundering off Chile, in December 2008, when seawater flooded the engine room, left Endurance without power or propulsion, but her sailors saved the ship and a Chilean tug towed her to safety.

        She is now in her home port of Portsmouth, awaiting a decision on her future.

        ABOUT THE UNIT

        KEY STATISTICS


        Pennant

        A171

        Displacement

        6500tonnes

        Complement

        112personnel

        Length

        91Metres

        Beam

        17.9metres

        Draught

        8.5metres

        Top Speed

        15knots

        Range (Nautical)

        6500Miles

        Commissioned date

        21/11/91

        TAKE A LOOK

        UNITS IN TIME


        HMS Endurance HISTORY

        TRACK THE HISTORY OF SHIPS NAMED HMS Endurance
        • History

          The current HMS Endurance is the second vessel to have taken the name of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition ship, which sank in November 1915 after a long slow death in the grip of the ice-bound Weddell Sea.

        • History

          The first was, like her successor, built as a merchant ship; the 3,600-ton Anita Dan was commissioned in 1956 and acquired by the Royal Navy from a Danish operator in 1967. After conversion at Harland and Wolff in Belfast she became HMS Endurance. She established the pattern of spending austral summers in the Antarctic, returning to the UK for maintenance during the boreal summer.

        • History

          She was earmarked for decommissioning in John Nott’s 1981 defence review, but the Falklands Conflict forced a rethink; she was in Stanley in March 1982 when Argentinian civilians occupied South Georgia and she played a crucial role in the events of the following weeks, landing small parties of troops and launching helicopter missions.

        • History

          She underwent a major refit in 1986, intended to extend her life until the late 1990s, but in 1989 she struck an iceberg and sustained damage, and although she was repaired a survey in 1991 found her hull was not strong enough to take another deployment to the Antarctic and she was finally taken out of service, to be replaced by MV Polar Circle/HMS Polar Circle/the current HMS Endurance.

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