The former Royal Navy icebreaker, HMS Endurance has now left Portsmouth for the last time. The vessel is heading to a Turkish scrapyard.


For years, the red hull of HMS Endurance has been a familiar sight in Portsmouth.

Now, the Royal Navy icebreaker, which is affectionately known as Red Plum, has left the harbour for the last time.

The vessel is sailing to the Leyal Ship Recycling Centre in Turkey where it will be scrapped. This is the same scrapyard that bought the Ark Royal aircraft carrier.

Those who served on the Red Plum took to social media to mark the ship’s final journey, which started 1 June.

“Will be sad to see the Lady leave, fond memories,” wrote Gary Maskell.

Vic Woods said: “Adios Red Plum. Pain in the arse … woefully under-engineered and supported and tragically fated. Great times in between the hard work and heartache.”

HMS Endurance tributes

People took to social media to mark the vessel’s final journey


HMS Endurance served as the Royal Navy ice patrol ship between 1991 and 2008.

Originally built in Norway and named MV Polar Circle, the vessel was chartered by the Royal Navy in 1991 as HMS Polar Circle.

The icebreaker was renamed HMS Endurance in 1992 when the ship was purchased outright by British Government.

It is named after the vessel Sir Ernest Shackleton sailed when he attempted to traverse the Antarctic continent between 1914 and 1917.

HMS Endurance was the only British ice patrol vessel for many years, and has also been used to support British Antarctic Survey (BAS) expeditions..

In 2008, the ship almost sank when its engine control room flooded off the Chilean coast.

Repairs were estimated at £30 million and the vessel was taken back to Portsmouth on the semi-submersible transporter ship MV Target.

In 2013, the Royal Navy announced that HMS Endurance would be sold for scrap as it was not “economically viable” to repair the damage sustained in 2008

The vessel was replaced by HMS Protector.