The island of South Georgia was a special destination because this is where one of the world’s pioneering polar explorers was laid to rest. During a touching ceremony, the HMS Protector’s crew paid tribute to Ernest Shackleton 100 years after his death. A Royal Navy reservist, Shackleton tried to reach the South Pole, and although he did not succeed, his expeditions were an important contribution to polar exploration. In 1915, when his ship suffered a serious accident caused by ice, the explorer heroically rescued the crew on board by sailing over 800 miles in a small boat to get help.
During the ceremony, the majestic HMS Protector stayed in the background, as sailors wearing wool sweaters as a tribute to the polar explorers at the beginning of the 20th century remembered Shackleton’s daring adventures.
The Royal Navy’s icebreaker officially departed on its Arctic mission on August 10. The research and patrol vessel hasn’t been to this area in almost two years, after having to undergo a major refit in 2020. Throughout its mission in 2022, it will help update the prestigious Admiralty Charts issued by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO).
Prior to launching this important mission, the HMS Protector went on a trial deployment, where it practiced crunching ice, and managed to get to 80°41.5 North in the Greenland Sea, which was the closest point to the North Pole that a British military ship had ever reached.