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HMS Endurance

From Academic Kids

There have been two Royal Navy ships with the name HMS Endurance. Both were named after the Endurance which was the ship crushed in the ice of the Weddell Sea during Sir Ernest Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica in 1914-15.

The ships' motto "Fortitudine Vinvimus" ("By Endurance We Conquer") originates from that of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

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Endurance.jpg
HMS Endurance

HMS Endurance (1967-1991)

HMS Endurance, ex-Anita Dan, was built in Denmark in 1956 by Grogerwerft for the Lauritzen Lines. She was acquired by the Royal Navy in 1967, converted by Harland & Wolff and renamed. The vessel maintained a British presence in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands during the summer months. She also supported the British Antarctic Survey. Due to her bright red hull she was nicknamed 'Red Plum'. The Royal Navy intended to decommission the vessel in 1982, following the defence review of John Nott, but the Falklands War intervened.

On March 19, 1982 while the ship was at Port Stanley, South Georgia was occupied by Argentinian civilians. The Endurance, commanded by Captain Nick Barker, was sent to order the Argentinians off the island. Endurance had a small Royal Marines detachment and took further Marines from Navy Party 8901, and sailed on March 21 for South Georgia. Arriving on March 25, she encountered the Argentinian transport Bahai Buen Suceso, which had landed 100 troops, and Endurance landed her marines before returning to the Falklands on March 30. She joined up with the British task force in April and landed SBS soldiers at Hound Bay on South Georgia on April 22. With the threat of a submarine, other vessels moved into deeper waters but Endurance moved into sea ice near the shore. On April 25 two Wasp ASW helicopters flying from Endurance assisted in attacks on the submarine Santa Fe, which was later abandoned by her crew. When the Argentinian forces surrendered on the 26th the Endurance remained in the vicinity of the island as a guard.

Toward the end of her life she acquired the nickname HMS Encumbrance due to reliability problems.

In 1989 she struck an iceberg and although she was repaired, a survey in 1991 declared that the hull was not sound enough for a return to Antarctica and she was finally decommissioned. She was replaced by the MV Polar Circle (see below).

  • Weight: 3,600 tons
  • Length: 93 m
  • Beam: 14 m
  • Draught: 5.5 m
  • Propulsion: 1 Burmeister & Wain diesel
  • Top speed: 14.5 knots (27 km/h)
  • Crew: 119
  • Armament: 2 20 mm Oerlikons
  • Aircraft: 2 Wasp helicopters

HMS Endurance (1992-)

HMS Endurance is the Royal Navy's Antarctic ice patrol ship. She is a class 1A1 ice-breaker, pennant number A171. She was originally built in Norway in 1990 by Ulstein Hatlo for Rieber Shipping as MV Polar Circle. The navy chartered her in 1991 for eight months as HMS Polar Circle on November 21. She was bought outright in 1992 and renamed HMS Endurance on October 9 of that year. She provides a sovereign presence in Antarctica, performs hydrographic surveys and supports the British Antarctic Survey.

She can move through up to 0.9 metres of ice at 3 knots. Her propulsion system uses a computer-controlled variable pitch propellor and stern and bow thrusters.

HMS Endurance carries a survey motor boat named James Caird, and other boats named Stancomb Wills and Dudley Docker which were also boat names on Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance. The original open boat the James Caird was used by Shackleton to make his epic open boat voyage of 800 miles (1,300 km) from Elephant Island, to South Georgia.

Statistics:

  • Displacement: 6500 Tons
  • Length: 91 m
  • Draught: 8.5 m
  • Beam: 17.9 m
  • Propulsion: 2 Bergen BRM 8 Diesels, 8160 hp (6 MW)
  • Top Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h)
  • Cruising Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h)
  • Endurance: 65,000 nautical miles (120,000 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
  • Complement: 126
  • Aircraft: 2 Lynx helicopters

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