RRS John Biscoe (1956)

RRS John Biscoe (1956)

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RRS John Biscoe (1956)

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The RRS John Biscoe was a supply and research vessel used by the British Antarctic Survey between 1956 and 1991.


An earlier vessel, (1584 tonnes) operated from 1947-55. Both were named after the English explorer John Biscoe, who discovered parts of Antarctica in the early 1830s. When a party of British scientists attempted to land from John Briscoe at Hope Bay, Graham Land on February 2, 1952, an Argentine shore party fired shots over their heads.

John Biscoe II was replaced by in 1991. After decommissioning, she was sold and eventually scrapped in 2004 under the name Fayza Express.


Biscoe's first visit to Halley Research Station, in 1959/60 was under the veteran captain, Bill Johnston.

From 1975, joint Masters of John Biscoe were Malcolm Phelps and Chris Elliott. Chris Elliott had joined BAS as Third Officer on John Biscoe in 1967, becoming Second Officer in 1970. He established the successful Offshore Biological Programme cruises and helped superintend the building of replacement . Elliott was awarded the Polar Medal in 2004 and an MBE in 2005. The sea passage between Adelaide Island and Jenny Island is named after Chris Elliott.


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