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Montevideo, April 12th 2024 - 11:19 UTC



Crossing the Line Certificate for surviving in freezing Antarctic waters when an iceberg capsized

Tuesday, February 20th 2024 - 10:00 UTC
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Ex HMS Protector Dave Stone, now 80, one of a party of seven sailors who survived an overturned iceberg, back in 1966 Ex HMS Protector Dave Stone, now 80, one of a party of seven sailors who survived an overturned iceberg, back in 1966

A former sailor who served on board the previous Royal Navy Ice Patrol HMS Protector, who escaped with his life after falling into the freezing waters of the Antarctic, has shared a collection of memorabilia with the crew of the current vessel.

A piece in points out that Dave Stone, 80, was one of seven sailors who embarked on a daring climb up an iceberg in 1966, an adventure that quickly turned perilous when it unexpectedly overturned, leaving them stranded in the water.

Fortunately, they all survived, and Mr. Stone was later awarded a certificate to commemorate the lucky escape, which he has now shared with the current crew of HMS Protector.

The certificate dated 17 December 1966, recounts Mr. Stone's remarkable escape after the iceberg overturned.

It reads: “This is to testify that on the 17th Day of December 1966 at 7.00pm, David Stone of Her Majesty's Ship Protector did join that select band of men who have been cast into the freezing waters of the Antarctic Sea by the very capsizing of the iceberg on which they were standing.

”Furthermore, it is seconded that by an Act of God, the person aforementioned did surface unharmed from beneath 5,000 tons of ice, and did survive for 1 minute and 45 seconds in the water of temperature 31°F before being rescued.”

The Royal Navy has a long-standing tradition of issuing certificates to commemorate perilous events that sailors survive.

These certificates are often known as Crossing the Line Certificates and are typically given to sailors who have crossed the Equator for the first time or have participated in other significant maritime rituals or events.

Mr. Stone's certificate is adorned with a humorous cartoon drawing of an iceberg with two penguins struggling not to slide down it into the choppy waters below.

HMS Protector serves as the Royal Navy's Ice Patrol Ship, navigating the frigid waters of Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere. Operating for approximately 330 days each year, she undertakes vital missions in one of the world's most challenging maritime environments.

Categories: Antarctica, International.

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