RRS Shackleton

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Career (UK) Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Name: RRS Shackleton
Namesake: Ernest Shackleton
Operator: Falkland Islands Dependency Survey / British Antarctic Survey / NERC
Builder: Solvesborgs Varv A/B at Sölvesborg, Sweden
Yard number: 41[1]
Launched: 11 November 1954[2]
Completed: February 1955[2]
Acquired: 1955
In service: 1955
Out of service: 1992
Refit: 1971
Career (Panama) 60px
Name: MV Sea Profiler
Operator: Gardline Surveys Ltd, Great Yarmouth
Acquired: 1992

IMO Number: 5321576
MMSI Number: 351133000

Callsign: HP6791
Status: in service
General characteristics
Class and type: Passenger/cargo
Type: Royal Research Ship/seismic survey vessel

GT 1082 T

605 brt.
Length: 65.78 metres (215.8 ft)
Beam: 11.08 metres (36.4 ft)
Draught: 4.66 metres (15.3 ft)
Ice class: Lloyds 100 A1

Main Engine MAN G6V40/60 99 BHP

Bowthrust Samuel White 32" 260o Gilljet
Speed: 9.7 knots (Max) / 7.8 knots (Average)[3]
Endurance: 28 Days
Complement: 31 berths
Notes: [4]

RRS Shackleton was a Royal Research Ship operating in the Antarctic from 1955 to 1992. She is now a seismic survey vessel, MV Sea Profiler.


Built in 1954 by Solvesborgs Varv A/B at Sölvesborg, Sweden, she was launched as MV Arendal (III)[5] for work in the Baltic. She was purchased in 1955 by the Falkland Islands Dependency Survey (British Antarctic Survey from 1962). After conversion to carry more passengers, she was renamed Shackleton and sailed to the Antarctic for the 1955/56 season.[6]

In 1957 Shackleton struck an iceberg off the South Orkney Islands and was nearly lost.[7] At Deception Island in 1966 the Shackleton met and provisioned Bill Tilman's SV Mischief, the first private expedition to visit a British Antarctic base.[8] Shackleton joined the rescue of Deception Island base members when the volcano erupted in December 1967 and again in February 1969.[9]

In 1968 Shackleton became RRS Shackleton and was rebuilt in 1971. In 1976, while carrying Lord Shackleton (son of the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton) tasked by the British Government to carry out an economic survey of the Falkland Islands, RRS Shackleton was fired on by the Argentine destroyer ARA Almirante Storni in a precursor to the Falklands Conflict.[10]

After the British Antarctic Survey, she served the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) as an oceanographic research ship and visited Antarctica on five further occasions, before being withdrawn from NERC service in 1983.[11]

Shackleton was renamed Geotek Beta in 1983, and Profiler in 1984. She was ‘retired’ from the South Atlantic in 1992 and reconfigured for her current role as a soils and high resolution seismic survey vessel, operated by Gardline Shipping Limited. They renamed her Sea Profiler in 1992.[12]


Fuchs, Vivian (1982). Of Ice and Men. Oswestry: Anthony Nelson. ISBN 0904614069. 


External links

Pictures at Cool Antarctica

fr:RRS Shackleton