Sailors in a true winter wonderland for Christmas

DINNER TIME! HMS Protector's company sit's down to a Christmas meal on the ice. Picture: LA(Phot) Vicki Benwell
DINNER TIME! HMS Protector's company sit's down to a Christmas meal on the ice. Picture: LA(Phot) Vicki Benwell
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Thousands of miles from home, the crew of a Royal Navy ship have celebrated Christmas early on top of the Antarctic ice.

HMS Protector is currently on a deployment in the frozen continent to carry out surveys and patrols.

HMS PROTECTORS CHRISTMAS PICTURE''On the 2nd December HMS Protector took advantage of the good weather and suitable ice conditions to take the Official Christmas Photo. The logistics Department worked hard to co-ordinate the task of serving Christmas Dinner down on the ice. Afterwards the Ships Company celebrated by conducting 'snowdowners' on the Ice with mulled wine and mince pies.''Image shows members of the Ships Company at the end of their football friendly that took place on the ice.''Back Row L-R: AB(SEA) Scott, AB(SEA) Smith, LET(WE) Wade, AB(ET) Voudouris.'Front Row L-R: LPT Smith, CH Green, LS(HM) Lincoln, LET Harvey, AB(SEA) Daubney, AB(D) Coburn.''Consent has been received for this image.

HMS PROTECTORS CHRISTMAS PICTURE''On the 2nd December HMS Protector took advantage of the good weather and suitable ice conditions to take the Official Christmas Photo. The logistics Department worked hard to co-ordinate the task of serving Christmas Dinner down on the ice. Afterwards the Ships Company celebrated by conducting 'snowdowners' on the Ice with mulled wine and mince pies.''Image shows members of the Ships Company at the end of their football friendly that took place on the ice.''Back Row L-R: AB(SEA) Scott, AB(SEA) Smith, LET(WE) Wade, AB(ET) Voudouris.'Front Row L-R: LPT Smith, CH Green, LS(HM) Lincoln, LET Harvey, AB(SEA) Daubney, AB(D) Coburn.''Consent has been received for this image.

And since the ship will be at sea on Christmas Day, they decided to have their festive dinner early – on top of the ice.

The ship’s company enjoyed a game of football before settling down to their roast turkey dinner.

Captain Rhett Hatcher, HMS Protector’s commanding officer, said: ‘Spending Christmas in the coldest, windiest, and driest place on Earth comes with a number of challenges but it is a truly unique privilege.

‘With 21 hours of daylight, we need to remind ourselves to take a break from operations, but when we do so we know that despite being a very long way from our families and friends at home, we are proud to be on patrol for the Royal Navy and in the best possible company over Christmas.’

HMS Protector sailed from Portsmouth in October.