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  1. ITV Report

Portsmouth Sailors Help With Antarctic Base Fire

Portsmouth-based HMS Protector Photo: Ministry of Defence

Twenty-three sailors from the ice patrol ship HMS Protector went to the Ferraz research station, on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands.

They arrived after the survivors - mainly Brazilian military and scientific personnel - had been evacuated and set about extinguishing the fire which was still alight, according to a navy spokesman. He added that the two people who died in the fire were from Brazil.

Captain Peter Sparkes, the commanding officer of HMS Protector, said: "This was a tragic incident, which resulted in the death of two people and the injury of many more. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brazilian navy's Antarctic service and their families. I am pleased that Protector afforded valuable and timely support during this incident. This is what the Royal Navy is trained to do, and do well."

HMS Protector has been on patrol in Antarctica, visiting several research stations in the region. Ferraz base is able to support up to 65 personnel conducting geological, bio-diversity and meteorological research.

"This was a tragic incident, which resulted in the death of two people and the injury of many more. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brazilian navy's Antarctic service and their families."

– Captain Peter Sparkes, the commanding officer of HMS Protector