|RSS BRANSFIELD |
lowers one of her ships boats at Maggies Ditch Antarctica (photo by Greame Hart)
Ship No 508
The RSS BRANSFIELD was an amazing vessel, built as a merchant ship but with ice strengthened bows to enable her to supply the U.K. Antarctic bases.
She was ordered by NERC and she was at 4816 grt, a large ship for the yard, with a single screw she was well designed for the job of supplying the survey camps in Antarctica.
She had a length between perpendiculars of 90 metres with a beam of 18.3 metres, and a design draught of 9.5 metres.
RRS Bransfield was an ice-strengthened cargo vessel, purpose-built for operation by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). She was launched at Leith Shipyards on 4 September 1970.
Bransfield was BAS's main supply vessel from 1970/71-1998/99, and also had limited facilities for on-board research. She represented NERC in the Review of the Fleet at Spithead in 1977, held to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's jubilee. Following the ship's return to the UK in May 1999, she was sold to Rieber Shipping A/S as part of the contract for the long-term charter of her replacement, RRS Ernest Shackleton.
You will be able to read a lot more about this great ship on the new website which will be online soon, along with some of the stories of the guys who have been there.