HMS Protector in Antartica 161118 CREDIT MOD

HMS Protector Breaks The Ice During Antarctica Deployment

The ship is currently deployed in Antarctica and will return home to Plymouth in 2020.

HMS Protector in Antartica 161118 CREDIT MOD

The Royal Navy's Antarctic patrol ship in the vicinity of Melchior Island, Antarctica (Picture: MOD).

HMS Protector has broken ice as she travelled through the Antarctic.

The Plymouth-based ship is three years into her deployment in the icy conditions of Antarctica.

She will return to the UK in 2020, although some her crew will be back sooner, as she rotates one-third of them every few weeks to sustain the five-year mission.

The moment she broke through the icy waters was captured on video:

The Antarctic patrol ship spends the British winters and summers in the Southern Hemisphere, working around the frozen continent.

She then withdraws to the more temperate climes of South Africa for the austral winter to undergo maintenance and conduct survey work and training, typically off the west coast of Africa.

HMS Protector passes pengins in Antarctic 311018 CREDIT MOD
Protector has even had some encounters with the local penguins as she sailed through the icy conditions (Picture MOD).

In August she swapped the icy conditions for the Indian Ocean, as she charted the waters around Diego Garcia that had not been surveyed for 180 years.

It was part of the ship's five-year scientific mission to update seafaring charts and support numerous studies into life around Antarctica.

Following that deployment, Captain Matt Syrett, the ship’s commanding officer said they were looking forward to returning to the colder climates.

"We’ve now got our sights set firmly on the challenges awaiting us as we head back to the ice."