British Antarctic News

31 Jan 2020

Polar Research Ship Commissions Lifeboats

Image: Cammell Laird

UK’s new polar research ship being built at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead RRS Sir David Attenborough has achieved another important milestone with the commissioning and testing of the ship’s lifeboats and lifeboat davits.The lifeboats, each capable of carrying 90 people, are now in position on both sides of the vessel, along with the operational davits that allow for the safe deployment and recovery of the boats.RRS Sir David Attenborough is the first International Maritime Organisation’s Polar Code-compliant ship to have been built in the UK.

26 Sep 2019

UK Polar Research Vessel Named

Built by Cammell Laird and operated by the British Antarctic Survey, the RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research vessel aims transform how ship-borne science is conducted in the polar regions. (Photo: British Antarctic Survey)

The UK’s new polar research ship is being formally named the RRS Sir David Attenborough today (Thursday, September 26) by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and special guest Sir David Attenborough will be in attendance. A three-day public celebration, hosted at the shipyard by British Antarctic Survey and Cammell Laird, will follow the naming ceremony and aims to inspire and inform people about polar science, engineering and technology. Primary school students from the STEM Polar…

06 Sep 2019

Polar RV Sir David Attenborough Naming Ceremony

The RRS Sir David Attenborough, Britain’s new polar research vessel: the naming ceremony for the ship will be held at shipbuilder Cammell Laird’s yard in Birkenhead, England on September 26.

(Photo: British Antarctic Survey)

On Thursday, 26 September, the ceremonial naming of the new British polar research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough will take place at the Cammell Laird Birkenhead shipyard.The ship was commissioned by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council, built by Cammell Laird, and operated by the British Antarctic Survey. This vessel is designed to transform how ship-borne science is conducted in the Polar Regions and its commissioning is part of a major UK Government polar infrastructure…

10 May 2019

GC Rieber Sells Ernest Shackleton

Ernest Shackleton. Photo: GC Rieber Shipping

Norwegian shipping company GC Rieber Shipping has completed the process of redelivery and sale of the icebreaking research vessel 'Ernest Shackleton' to the new owner Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS).The redelivery of the vessel from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) marked the end of a nearly 20-year relationship between British Antarctic Survey and GC Rieber Shipping, said a press release from the operator of offshore subsea support vessels,…

04 Feb 2019

Rope and Sling in the Antarctic

Photo: Rope and Sling Specialists

Rope and Sling Specialists (RSS) has provided lifting and rigging products to BAM Nuttall Limited (BAM), which will utilize the equipment during the landmark modernization of the Rothera Research Station in the Antarctic.BAM is working in partnership with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), to deliver civil engineering projects associated with the RRS Sir David Attenborough, the UK’s new polar research vessel, commissioned…

04 Jan 2019

Wharf-Building Equipment Arrives Antarctica

The DS Wisconsin alongside at Rothera Research Station. Credit: Jenny Symons, British Antarctic Survey (BAS)

A cargo ship loaded with 4,500 tonnes of steel and construction equipment required to build a new Antarctic wharf has arrived at British Antarctic Survey (BAS)'s Rothera Research Station.Staff awaiting its arrival cheered as the DS Wisconsin pulled alongside, guided for the final few hours through sea ice by the ice-strengthened RRS Ernest Shackleton. Work began immediately on the huge task of unloading the cargo, which is likely to take around two weeks.The ship, containing plant…

10 Dec 2018

Scientist Pool Data to Create the $3B Ocean Map

© peteri/Adobe Stock

For experts in the field of ocean mapping it is no small irony that we know more about the surfaces of the Moon and Mars than we do about our planet's sea floor."Can you imagine operating on the land without a map, or doing anything without a map?" asked Larry Mayer, director of the U.S.-based Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, a research body that trains hydrographers and develops tools for mapping."We depend on having that knowledge of what's around us - and the same is true for the ocean…

05 Dec 2018

Ship Sets Sail for Antarctica Wharf Works

All aboard and bound for Antartica. Photo: BAM Construct UK

A ship loaded with 4,500t of equipment by BAM Construct UK has been sent on a month-long journey to Antarctica, where it will be used for building a new wharf at Rothera Research Station.The new wharf, being built over the next two Antarctic seasons, will provide safe berthing and efficient unloading for the new polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough. The Rothera Research Station is a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) base on the Antarctic Peninsula, located at Rothera Point…

21 Sep 2018

Royal Research Ships in Hutchison Ports Harwich International

Photo: Hutchison Ports Harwich International

Hutchison Ports Harwich International has become a new base for the British Antarctic Survey’s two ice-strengthened Royal Research Ships, the RRS James Clark Ross and the RRS Ernest Shackleton.The two ships are making their inaugural calls at the port in September before deploying to the Antarctic, where they will remain until summer 2019.Commenting on the calls, Mark Seaman, Finance Director, Hutchison Ports (UK), said: “Harwich International is well known for its excellent ferry links to the Continent…

16 Jul 2018

RRS Sir David Attenborough Launched

The 10,000-metric-ton hull of the RRS Sir David Attenborough glides into the water (Photo: BAS)

The hull of the U.K.’s new polar research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough was launched from Cammell Laird shipyard Saturday, marking a major milestone toward the completion of one of the world’s most advanced scientific maritime vessels.Shipyard workers, engineers, scientists and maritime industry experts were among thousands who gathered to celebrate the launch along with special guest speakers, including renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, who pressed…

11 Jul 2018

Houlder Joins Sir David Attenborough Celebrations

Photo: Houlder

Naval architect and marine engineering firm Houlder has played a key role in the development of the U.K.’s new polar research vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough, since it was first conceived by the British Antarctic Survey.CEO Rupert Hare will join members of the project team as hull number 1390, comprising 10,000t of steel, is launched at Cammell Laird Shipyard on July 14.As experts in ship construction, and ice class design in particular, Houlder worked with the British Antarctic…

10 Jul 2018

Roxtec Secures Order for Britain’s $265m Polar Ship

Photo: Roxtec

International manufacturer Roxtec is helping protect Britain‚Äôs new £200m ($265m) polar research vessel - RRS Sir David Attenborough ‚Äď after supplying a range of specialist safety seals.The new build ship is being funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) built by Cammell Laird in Birkenhead and run by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).It will operate in extreme conditions in both Antarctica and the Arctic, enduring up to 60 days in sea-ice for scientists to gather‚Ķ

10 Apr 2018

Latest Innovations in Heavy Duty Machinery

RollDock Shipping: sophisticated loading/unloading systems for wind turbine component transportation. (Photo courtesy of Roll Group)

In the first of a series of marine industry sector reviews, MR&EN correspondent Tom Mulligan reports on the latest innovations in heavy lifting machinery technology with a selective overview of new product launches and recent equipment installations on board ships, ferries and workboats, as well as in ports, docks, harbors and shipping terminals worldwide. Markey Machinery‚Äôs Render/Recover and Asymmetric Render/Recover ‚Äėactive heave‚Äô compensating winches have been recognized as‚Ķ

29 Sep 2017

Another Milestone for RRS Sir David Attenborough Build

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce is marking another milestone on the journey toward the completion of Britain’s new polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough being built by Merseyside shipyard Cammell Laird. The last of the vessel’s Bergen B33:45 engines/gensets have been craned into the ship’s hull at Cammell Laird ready to be connected to the RRS Sir David Attenborough’s Rolls-Royce propulsion system. The nine cylinder engines are carefully installed in three separate pieces. The first part of the nine cylinder engine to be craned into place was its double resilient foundation.

21 Aug 2017

Construction Milestone for RRS Sir David Attenborough

(Photo: Cammell Laird)

The stern section of Britain’s new polar research ship, RRS Sir David Attenborough, will be transported by barge this week from Hebburn-based shipyard A&P Tyne (Newcastle), part of A&P Group, to the Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead. The new ship is a major U.K. Government investment in frontier science. Commissioned by NERC, and built by the world famous marine engineering company Cammell Laird Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders Ltd. The vessel is a Rolls-Royce design, and will be operated by British Antarctic Survey when the ship enters service in 2019.

12 Jul 2017

Giant Iceberg Breaks off Antarctica

Thermal wavelength image of a large iceberg, which has calved off the Larsen C ice shelf. Darker colors are colder, and brighter colors are warmer, so the rift between the iceberg and the ice shelf appears as a thin line of slightly warmer area. Image from July 12, 2017, from the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. (Image: NASA Worldview)

One of the biggest icebergs on record has broken away from Antarctica, scientists said on Wednesday, creating an extra hazard for ships around the continent as it breaks up. The one trillion tonne iceberg, measuring 5,800 square km, calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica sometime between July 10 and 12, said scientists at the University of Swansea and the British Antarctic Survey. The iceberg, which is roughly the size of the U.S. state of Delaware or the Indonesian island of Bali, has been close to breaking off for a few months.

30 May 2017

RRS Sir David Attenborough: Construction Progressing

(Photo: Cammell Laird)

Cammell Laird shipyard informs it has reached the nine-month milestone in its project to build the U.K.‚Äôs new polar research ship the RRS Sir David Attenborough. The Merseyside-based engineering services giant beat off competition from around the world to be appointed to build the £15 0million vessel. The ship, which is the biggest commercial shipbuilding project in Britain for 30 years, has been commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and it will be operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), transforming the U.K.‚Äôs polar research capability.

27 Mar 2017

Saft to Supply Battery Systems for RRS Sir David Attenborough

Photo: Saft

Saft will supply two specialized Seanergy marine lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems to Rolls-Royce Marine for integration in the hybrid propulsion systems for the polar research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough. The new vessel, one of the most advanced ever, is being commissioned by the U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for operation by the British Antarctic Survey. The contract follows an earlier Rolls-Royce Marine contract for a hybrid multi-application vessel for Kystverket, the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

06 Mar 2017

Norsafe to Equip Australia's New Polar Research Ship

Photo: Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding

Norsafe said it has signed a contract with Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding BV to supply IMO Polar Code compliant Life Saving Appliances (LSA) to an arctic supply and research vessel for the Australian Antarctic Division. Norsafe will supply two JYN-85 conventional lifeboats with LH-140 davits and two JYN-115 lifeboats with LH-185 davits to the vessel. This is the second order Norsafe has received for its specialist LSA winning its first Polar Code contract with the British Antarctic Survey Polar Research vessel Sir David Attenborough in November last year.

10 Feb 2017

Cammell Laird Awards Coatings Contract for RRS Sir David Attenborough

Artist's impression of the RRS Sir David Attenborough unloading supplies in Antarctica. Copyright Rolls Royce.

Subsea Industries‚Äô Ecospeed hull protection system has been selected for RRS Sir David Attenborough, the polar research ship under construction at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, Liverpool, U.K. The £150 million contract to build the vessel, which Cammell Laird won in 2015, represents the biggest commercial shipbuilding contract in Britain for 30 years. The ship has been commissioned by the National Environment Research Council (NERC) and will be operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

03 Feb 2017

Expedition to Glaciers of Antarctic

Iceberg near Pine Island (Photo Jan Grobys)

How has the West Antarctic Ice Sheet changed in response to alternating warm and cold time periods? And what does it mean for the sea level ‚Äď today and tomorrow? Pursuing answers to these key questions, 50 researchers on board the Alfred Wegener Institute‚Äôs research vessel Polarstern are going to depart from Punta Arenas (Chile) on 6 February 2017, bound for the Amundsen Sea ‚Äď the region of the Antarctic currently characterised by the most massive and rapid loss of ice. In the course of the expedition, the seafloor drill rig MARUM-MeBo70 will be used in the Antarctic for the first time.

05 Dec 2016

Polar Sea Ice the Size of India Vanishes in Record Heat

© sichkarenko_com / Adobe Stock

Sea ice off Antarctica and in the Arctic is at record lows for this time of year after declining by twice the size of Alaska in a sign of rising global temperatures, climate scientists say. Against a trend of global warming and a steady retreat of ice at earth's northern tip, ice floating on the Southern Ocean off Antarctica has tended to expand in recent years. But now it is shrinking at both ends of the planet, a development alarming scientists and to which a build-up of man-made greenhouse gases…

20 Oct 2016

Ecospeed Strengthens Polar Code Compliance

The operational success of the 1995-built RRS Ernest Shackleton is an exemplar of the Ecospeed coating’s performance (Image: Subsea Industries)

Subsea Industries has received an order for its specialist hull and rudder coatings for application to a shallow draught anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel under construction at Turkey’s Atlas Shipyard. The hard-type coatings were selected amidst strong competition because of their proven performance in polar waters. The Ice-Class 1A, 65m tug will carry out anchor handling and oil recovery duties in the ecologically sensitive Arctic in compliance with the IMO Polar Code requirements, due to enter into force in January.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News