HMS Protector (A173) was chartered in 2011 as a temporary replacement for HMS Endurance (A171). She was purchased outright by the Ministry of Defence in 2013 when it became clear that Endurance would not return to service.
Navy’s ice patrol ship leaves Portsmouth for the last time
by Sam Bannister
The Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector has left Portsmouth for the last time today.
Her ship’s company are off on a double deployment to the frozen continent of Antarctica.
When the ship returns, she will head for her new home port of Devonport in Plymouth.
The 5,000-tonne ship will stay in the region for two consecutive deployments, returning to the UK in spring 2015.
She will conduct surveys and patrols on behalf of the UK Hydrographic Office, British Antarctic Survey and Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
HMS Protector’s commanding officer, Captain Rhett Hatcher, said: ‘The ship’s company have worked incredibly hard in training and preparation over the summer.
‘We have installed a number of equipment upgrades and improvements and having completed operational sea training we are now ready for the challenges of the planned double deployment.
‘Experienced members of the crew and new ones alike are very much looking forward to this deployment and proudly flying the White Ensign and the Union Flag around the Antarctic territories and the region.’