HMS Protector will be making a three day visit anchoring off Torquay and residents will be able to get onboard the ship.
The ship has a packed weekend in store hosting demonstrations for invited guests as well as a number of organised tour groups during the remainder of the weekend – these groups include local girl guides, sea cadets, sea scouts and a number of students from Plymouth University.
The distinctive red-hulled ship will will open to the public on Saturday from 10am to 3pm before it sets sail on Sunday afternoon.
Access is free, but is restricted and by ticket only – there are still tickets available from the English Riviera Visitor Centre on Vaughan Parade in Torquay and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Get in early to avoid disappointment. The boat transfers out to the ship will run from Torquay's Beacon Quay – time slots available are 10-11am, 11am-12noon, 12noon-1pm, 1-2ppm and 2-3pm. Each slot has 70 places available; a maximum of 350 over the course of the five slots. Each boat transfer leaves Beacon Quay 15 minutes before the time slot – in other words, 9.45am for the 10-11am slot, and so on. Visitors are advised to be at the quay in good time for their transfer.
Visitors will be able to tour the ship and learn more about HMS Protector and her work in the Antarctic. They will also be able to find out more about the British Antarctic Survey, which works very closely with the Royal Navy in this remote and hostile region.One of the newest additions to the Royal Navy's Fleet, HMS Protector returned from a nine-month deployment to Antarctica on May 10 this year, where she provided direct support to a UK-led multi-national Antarctic Treaty Inspection team; landed and recovered British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists at ecologically important sites; assisted with ongoing environmental and conservation work including hosting an international team updating the visitor guidelines for regularly visited sites and surveyed the poorly charted waters around the Antarctic Peninsula.
Her multi-beam echo sounder and survey motor boat also provided hi-tech hydrographic charting and imagery used to improve the navigational awareness and safety of other ships and mariners operating in the area.