Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

HMS Clyde's footballers victorious in South Georgia

HMS Clyde’s footballers victorious in South Georgia
27 April 2016
Footballers from HMS Clyde played a match on the most southerly football pitch in the world.

The team beat a South Georgia side 2-1 on the pitch at Grytviken, complete with bogs, mire and rocks. The pitch was first used by some of the first whalers who settled on the island in the 1920s.

The match was one of the highlights as the patrol ship visited South Georgia to deliver a new doctor for the British Antarctic Survey team, as well as a refrigeration engineer needed to help the team maintain essential services at their base.

Clyde faced iceberg-laden seas on the 800-mile journey from the Falkland Islands. As well as iceberg lookouts on duty to aid the bridge team, ‘Albert’, an RAF C130 Hercules flew overhead to identify icebergs.

Personnel from Clyde took the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of explorers such as Ernest Shackleton, with a tour by members of BAS.

First stop was the abandoned whaling station at nearby Grytviken, followed by a walk through the masses of Fur Seals to Shackleton’s grave at Grytviken Cemetery.

Sailors were also able to tour Seal Puppy Lake and beyond to Miviken, watching hundreds of Fur Seals growling and barking in the grass. As well as the Fur Seals, personnel were able to view Elephant Seals, King Penguins and Giant Petrels.

A few privileged members of the ship’s company were given a tour of the BAS laboratories, gaining insight into the work conducted by the scientists that ensures that the unique environment of South Georgia is sustained and its flora and fauna are allowed to thrive.

With the sightseeing completed it was time to get down to business and help the South Georgia government and BAS officials conduct a Major Incident Drill – one of the few times it is run with a live crew.

The scenario was that a fishing vessel had become shipwrecked and the non-English speaking crew were acted out by HMS Clyde’s ship’s company.

The exercise saw the South Georgian and BAS officials set up a casualty reception centre, triage centre and also ensured that a system is in place to account for all personnel. 

Whilst the majority of the ship's company played to role or the fishing vessel crew, the Command Team were on hand to provide advice and guidance to the South Georgia team.

With a number of small icebergs seemingly attracted to HMS Clyde, the BAS used one of their vessels to tow a berg away from the ship so she could recover her rigid raider.

The patrol ship bid farewell to South Georgia, with members of the island’s government and BAS team waving off the ship – a departure overseen by three King Penguins.

Clyde is continuing her routine patrols around the South Atlantic.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.