|Operator:||British Antarctic Survey|
|Port of registry:||Port Stanley, Falkland Islands|
|Route:||Antarctic Research and Logistics|
|Builder:||Robb Caledon Shipbuilders Ltd, Leith|
|Launched:||4 September 1970 by Lady Joyce Fuchs, wife of the then Director of the Survey|
|Fate:||sold to GC Rieber Shipping in 1999|
|Renamed:||Igenpearl in October 1999|
|Fate:||broken up in Mumbai in 2000|
|Class and type:||
|Type:||Ice Strengthened, steel hull|
|Tonnage:||4,816 GT, 1,577 NT|
|Length:||325 ft (99 m)|
|Beam:||60 ft (18 m)|
|Draught:||22 ft (6.7 m)|
|Ice class:||Lloyds 100 A1 Ice Class 1*|
|Propulsion:||single variable-pitch propeller|
|Complement:||24 crew; 13 officers; 58 expeditioners|
RRS Bransfield was an ice-strengthened cargo vessel, purpose-built for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
RRS Bransfield was designed by consultants Graham & Woolnaugh of Liverpool for NERC, and built by Robb Caledon Shipbuilders Ltd, Leith. She was named after Edward Bransfield RN (1785-1852), who discovered the north west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, roughly surveyed the South Shetland Islands, claiming King George Island and Clarence Island for Great Britain. Bransfield was the first man to chart part of the Antarctic mainland.
This was the second vessel to be named after Bransfield by BAS or its predecessors. The first was HMS Bransfield, the original expedition ship for Operation Tabarin, a secret British expedition to Antarctica during World War Two. It established the first permanent British bases on the Antarctic Peninsula and became the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey in 1945 (renamed BAS in 1962). This vessel was a wooden Norwegian sealer built in 1918 as the Veslekari, and renamed for the expedition. Her service with Tabarin was inglorious - she proved to be unseaworthy, and had to be replaced before the expedition left English waters in November 1943.
In May 1999, she was sold to GC Rieber Shipping as part of the contract for the long-term charter of her replacement, RRS Ernest Shackleton. She was subsequently renamed Igenpearl, and was scrapped in Mumbai in 2000.
RRS Bransfield was BAS's main supply vessel for 29 years, from 1970/71 to 1998/99. She also had limited facilities for on-board research. There was a fully equipped hospital bay on board.
For much of her career her joint Masters were John Cole and Stewart Laurence. Bransfield represented NERC in the Review of the Fleet at Spithead in 1977, held to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's jubilee.
- "Ships recycled by us". Bajinath Melaram. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
- "RRS BRANSFIELD - Yard No 508 - Antarctic Survey Vessel - N.E.R.C. - Built 1970". The Loftsman. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
- "History of RRS Bransfield". British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- "RRS Bransfield - Detailed Information". Dartcom. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- "Norwegian Merchant Fleet 1939-1945". Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- "JR39a Cruise Report" (pdf). British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- "Cole Channel". Antarctic Gazetteer. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- "Stuart Lawrence - Fuchs Medallist 2003". BAS Club. Archived from the original on February 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- Photo of the ship http://www.sln.org.uk/wow/images/692.jpg