Cruise ship rescued by HMS Protector

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THE Royal Navy’s icebreaker has come to the aid of a cruise liner after it became trapped in frozen waters off Antarctica.

HMS Protector broke through densely-packed ice which had surrounded the liner in the Antarctic Sound.

TRAPPED HMS Protector arrives to help a Norwegian cruise liner in thick ice off the coast of Antarctica

TRAPPED HMS Protector arrives to help a Norwegian cruise liner in thick ice off the coast of Antarctica

The Norwegian cruise ship MV Fram had been following the ice patrol ship through frozen waters off the coast of Antarctica.

But the vessel was surrounded by fast-moving floes – large sheets of floating ice – and became trapped.

Once trapped, ships often have to wait days or weeks to escape.

But for the fortunate crew of MV Fram, HMS Protector was there to help.

The ship immediately turned back, approaching the liner from astern, and breaking up the ice in a matter of hours.

Captain Peter Sparkes, the icebreaker’s commanding officer, said: ‘This is what we do in the Ice Patrol Ship, we are the Royal Navy’s equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife.

‘Protector’s ship’s company are highly trained and well-equipped to deal with a spectrum of operations in Antarctica.

‘That we are able to do so, so readily, is a clear demonstration of the Royal Navy’s global reach and operational preparedness.’