Hampshire & Isle of Wight

HMS Endurance: Former ice patrol ship to be scrapped

HMS Endurance
Image caption HMS Endurance, which was replaced by HMS Protector in 2011, is also known as Red Plum

The Royal Navy's former ice patrol ship HMS Endurance - damaged when its engine control room flooded off the Chilean coast in 2008 - is to be scrapped.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the Portsmouth-based ship, which was replaced by HMS Protector in 2011, would go out of service in 2015.

A MoD spokesman said the "damage sustained" by the ship off Chile meant repairs were not "economically viable".

The incident near South America saw 15 civilians airlifted to safety.

The spokesman said: "Given the level of damage sustained and the subsequent deterioration of the ship, it was not considered economically viable to repair her."

'Value for money'

The mission of the ship, which is also known as Red Plum, was to patrol and survey the Antarctic and South Atlantic. That duty has now been undertaken by HMS Protector.

Image caption HMS Protector underwent a refit to join the Royal Navy

HMS Protector was built in 2001 as an Antarctic research ship and was formerly known under the Norwegian name of MV Polarbjorn.

It underwent a refit to join the Royal Navy and was officially named HMS Protector in June 2011.

The MoD spokesman said £5m had been spent "to bring HMS Protector up to the Royal Navy's world-class standards" and work had been done to improve the ship's communications systems and add specialist hydrographic equipment, including a survey motor boat.

"The purchase of HMS Protector offers good value for money and secures the UK's long term ice patrol survey capability," he said.

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