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Press Release - 21 September 2018
Two ice-strengthened Royal Research Ships operated by the British Antarctic Survey are being mobilised from Hutchison Ports Harwich International in advance of the 2018/19 Antarctic field season.
The RRS James Clark Ross and the RRS Ernest Shackleton are calling 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, however the port has a wide range of facilities and handles a variety of cargoes and ship types. We normally see general and project cargoes as well as both dry and liquid bulks, cruise and offshore-support vessels, so the two survey ships fit well with this and are an exciting addition to our customer base.
“The British Antarctic Survey undertakes research in the Polar Regions to aid our understanding of the impact of human activity on the environment. We are pleased to be able to help them, albeit in a very small way, with their very important work.”
British Antarctic Survey’s Ships Programme Manager Randy Sliester said:
“In this instance we are mobilising from Harwich because of our current operational requirements.”
The RRS James Clark Ross is one of the world’s largest polar research vessels. Launched by Her Majesty the Queen in 1990, it is primarily a marine research vessel for biological, oceanographic and geophysical operations. It is equipped with a suite of laboratories and winch systems that allows scientific equipment to be deployed astern or amidships. The ship has an extremely low noise signature, allowing the deployment of sensitive acoustic equipment.
The RRS Ernest Shackleton, launched in 1995, is primarily a logistics vessel used to transport cargo, fuel and passengers. The ship also has a basic scientific capability and undertakes some research work. The vessel also has a cargo tender “Tula” on deck for ship-to-shore transfer of equipment for those occasions when the ship cannot berth alongside.
Whilst in Harwich the vessels loaded ship’s stores and a diverse range of supplies, from snow mobiles and foodstuffs, to construction materials and bonded goods, all destined for the UK’s numerous Antarctic bases. Additionally, the vessels completed a full crew change, as well as embarking a host of scientific staff and their equipment.
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Hutchison Ports Harwich International is one of the UK’s leading multi-purpose freight and passenger ports with excellent road and rail links to the Midlands, London and the South East. It is ideally located for North Sea freight and passenger traffic to and from Scandinavia and the Benelux countries, offering first class ro-ro, ferry, container and bulk operations as well as support services for the offshore renewable energy industry.
Hutchison Ports Harwich International is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 52 ports spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.