RRS Ernest Shackleton

All information below adopted from BAS website: (for my personal interest)



Laboratory Space

Dry lab, with computer flooring, work benches and all required facilities: 45 m²
Wet lab, with stainless steel interior and all required facilities: 45 m²
Preparations made for installing two container labs. (ISO 20 ft) with connection point to aft research deck area.

Research Facilities

Telescopic crane at stern: 10 T
ROV crane on upper deck 5 T/10 m-hydraulic and able to pick up from sea level
Navigation information system to all lab areas
Uncontaminated sea water supply to wet lab
Separate HVAC for laboratories
Slow speed and position-keeping facilities
Track Steering and Dynamic Positioning
12 kHz hydrographic echo sounder - monitor in dry lab
Preparations (hull dome) made for installation of bottom mapping system (Simrad EM 12-13 kHz)
Sonar room with void sluice valves up to 16 inch

Helicopter Facilities

Max weight of helicopter: 10 T on wheels
Designed for Super Puma
Diameter of deck: 18 m
Refuelling, navigation communication and fire fighting equipment to high standards. Upper cargo hold to be used as hangar


Mess room, day rooms, exercise facilities and sauna
Passengers' laundry facilities
Total capacity: 80 persons including crew
Fully air conditioned
Hi-fog firefighting equipment
37 cabins (1,2,3 and 4 berth)
Hospital facilities


Computerised engine monitoring - ICS class
Navigation and communication equipment to highest standards, including ECDIS, GMDSS and W1 (DnV) classification of bridge


Built to the Norwegian Ship Control Rules, Solas and IMO
Special Purpose Vessel A534(13) Resolution
MOB-Boat. Survival suits for all personnel
Fire monitoring and protection including Hi-fog for accommodation and foam guns for helicopter deck
Intercom and public address system
TV monitoring system to cover most areas of the vessel
Safety manuals and QA operations system according to DnV
SEP, incorporating IMO-ISM code
Double hull construction


Equipped with oily water separator, incinerator, garbage compactor and waste water treatment according to Antarctic Treaty Environmental Protocol and MARPOL
Fuel oil storage arranged to minimise risk of accidental spills


Proven design. Model tested in ice tank
Inerta 160 - low resistance hull paint
Patented propeller and rudder protection
Machinery cooling stand-by arrangement
De-icing in foreship and superstructure

Cargo Logistics

Underdeck bale of about 3000 m³
Container loading in forward upper hold and on forward hatch
Plugs for 4 reader containers
Arctic fuel in ship's fuel tanks
Jet A-1 aviation fuel in separate tanks
Aft hatch flush with helicopter deck (for cargo handling)
Cargo crane - 30 T at 20 m outreach
Decks prepared for heavy vehicles

Offshore Survey

Dynamic Positioning - AUT R
HPR tracking systems Hi Pap and 410
Taut wire, interface to Artemis, DGPS and Fan Beam
ROV crane 5 T at 10 m
12 kHz hydrographic echo sounder
Preparations (hull dome) made for installation of bottom mapping system (Simrad EM 12-13 kHz)
Telescopic crane at stern: 10 T
Two separate stabilising tanks
Offshore crane: 50 T at 10 m

Main Particulars

L.o.a. 80.0 m
L.p.p. 72.4 m
B. mld. 17.0 m
Draft 6.15 m
Draft (scantl.) 6.85 m
Deadweight (at 6.15 m) 1800 T
Fuel oil 1380 m³
Freshwater 165 m³
Aviation fuel (Jet A-1) 195 m³
Consumption: 9.5 tons/24 h at 12 knots
Consumption: 17 tons/24 h at 14 knots (max speed)
Endurance: about 130 days/40,000 nautical miles


2 x Bergen Diesel BRM 6 each 2550 kW at 720 rom
Single screw C.P. propeller in nozzle from twin output/single output gearbox
Azimuth thruster forward as emergency "take you home" propulsion

Electrical Power

2 x 2200 kW shaft generators
2 x 600 kW aux. generators
1 x 150 kW emergency generator
450 V - 60 Hz for heavy consumers
230 V - 60 Hz for accommodation/general use
120 V - 60 Hz for lab. space
230 V and 120 V UPS 60 Hz for lab. spaces
230 V and 120 V 60 Hz clean power for lab. spaces
230 V - 50 Hz clean power for lab. spaces

Internal Regulations

Norwegian ship control rules, SOLAS, IMO and IMO A534 (13) Resolution
(Special Purpose Vessels) MARPOL, Antarctic Treaty
Environmental Protocol
Canadian Arctic Pollution
Classed for WORLD WIDE trade

Manouvering, navigation and communication

The vessel is equipped to high standard including:
Dynamic positioning and separate joystick
Conventional back-up system in wheelhouse and crow's nest
Three radars, two gyro compasses, RDF, helicopter homing beacon, GPS navigation system, wind sensors and log
ECDIS digital mapping system with all equipment integrated to DnV W1 approved bridge
Navigation echo sounder, navigation sonarm hydrographic echo sounder
Communications to GMDSS including satcom., MF/HF and VHF intercom and hailing system
TV-monitoring with 20 cameras



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