RRS James Clark Ross departs Antarctica for final time

British Antarctic Survey

On Friday 19 February 2021 the RRS James Clark Ross made her final call to Rothera Research Station. After 30 years of service, the JCR will retire at the end of the 20/21 Antarctic season.

A large ship in a body of water
Last call of the JCR at Rothera, Credit: Alex Wallace

Rothera was the JCR’s final call on the ship’s five-and-a-half-month mission to deliver scientific and operational staff to Antarctica, and to resupply the UK stations in Antarctica for another year. Later this month the JCR will make one final stop to her home port of the Falkland Islands to refuel before making the six-week journey back to the UK. RRS James Clark Ross’ final season has been one like no other, with COVID-19 presenting exceptional operational challenges.

RRS James Clark Ross departing Signy Research Station. Credit: Iain Gordon

For the past three decades the JCR has been a floating platform for biological, oceanographic and geophysical research. She contains some of Britain’s most advanced facilities for oceanographic research in both Antarctica and the Arctic.

The RRS James Clark Ross will be replaced with the RRS Sir David Attenborough (SDA). The SDA has just completed two weeks of intensive sea trials around the United Kingdom.

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