The Royal Navy's Ice Patrol HMS Endurance is back in sailing conditions following the completion of the repair work on her rudder at the Naval Dockyard at Puerto Belgrano according to Argentine Navy sources.
The Royal Navy ice breaker entered Argentina's main naval base 700 km south of Buenos Aires in early March after damaging its rudder while in Antarctica in February. It was the first time since the end of the 1982 conflict between Argentina and the UK that a Royal Navy ship had entered the Argentine naval base.
HMS Endurance severely damaged its steering system while carrying out logistical and scientific tasks in Antarctica. The damage reduced the vessel's capacity to manoeuvre safely.
The duration of the repair work was scheduled to last about 20 days and was carried out by a joint team of Argentine naval technicians and British specialists.
However work on the repair was delayed last month when shipyard workers went on strike and surrounded the naval base with pickets.
Support for HMS Endurance was provided "in the framework of obligations established by the International Maritime Organization" which must be offered by Argentina and "executed, and under the control of the Argentine Navy", said an official release from the Argentine Navy.
"This refers to safety in the sea, free navigation and support to any vessel from the national or international community sailing in the South Atlantic under the (Argentine) area of Search and Rescue responsibility".
HMS Endurance 25 days in dry dock had a big display in the Argentine press which highlighted it was the first time a British flagged vessel visited Puerto Belgrano since 1982. They also recalled that the Argentine garrison that had taken South Georgia during the South Atlantic conflict later surrendered to the British Task Force on board the Ice Patrol Ship which was also named Endurance.
HMS Endurancelast January was also the first in visiting Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, since the South Atlantic conflict. Captain Lambert and the crew participated with Malvinas veterans in a joint memorial ceremony for the fallen in 1982.