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03 Nov - A change of plan

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Noon Position: 51.40.2 Deg S, 57.38.5 Deg W
Distance Travelled since Grimsby: 10478.4 Nautical Miles
Days since leaving Grimsby: 54
Air temperature @ Noon today: 5.4°C
Sea temperature @ Noon today : 8.7°C
Weather: Good, SSW, 5, 1006.4 mb

Change of Plans

Due to unforseen circumstances, plans for RRS James Clark Ross have changed. Things were going well with a rapid return to Stanley across the Scotia Sea from Signy. We arrived back at Stanley harbour on the evening of Tuesday 20 October and tied up. All seemed well with the world and we awaited our next group of scientists.

Then, at 9.20 am local time (12.20 GMT) on Wednesday 30 October 2002. RRS James Clark Ross sustained a 1 metre tear in her shell plating above the water line when a commercial motor tanker attempting to berth at Stanley Harbour collided with us. Fortunately, no-one was injured.

With assistance from a surveyor from Lloyd's Register, an assessment of the damage was made and the likely impact on our research and operational plans reviewed by the Operations team back in Cambridge.

Limited, temporary repairs were approved by Lloyds and undertaken to make her seaworthy for the voyage to Montevideo where further repairs would be done. The area at the end of the tear in the damaged hull plate was cut out, to prevent crack propagation around the hull. The hull repair took the form of a "cement box" box, where steel plates and strengthening were welded on the inside and outside of the damaged hull area, then filled with concrete to form a rigid and waterproof seal.

The Falkland Islands has limited facilities so we are now in Montevideo organising a permanent repair to get the ship back on track for the remainder of the season.

The Scientists and technical staff who were onboard preparing to conduct ship-borne scientific investigations on a section of the Earth's crust on the sea floor thought to be around 20 million years old have returned to UK. This work has been cancelled for this season to allow repairs to be carried out.

Damage to the JCR - Click to enlarge Cement box temporary repair - Click to enlarge