The SAS PROTEA was specifically designed to fulfil both hydrographic and oceanographic research. Her hull is strengthened for navigation in ice. She is fitted with a transverse bow thrust unit, giving her greatly increased manoeuvrability in harbour and whilst engaged in oceanographic research. A passive roll tank stabilizer reduces roll by almost 60%.

Ship's Specifications


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Visit the bridge Visit the Survey Chart Room Visit the Flight Deck
Visit the Forecastle Visit the Captain's Day Cabin
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The ship can carry up to seven scientists on board and is also fitted with a hospital, library, canteen, laundry and electrical and shipwright workshops. A sewerage treatment plant is used to prevent pollution and the contamination of samples.

Apart from her survey role, the SAS PROTEA has proven to be an extremely versatile vessel. She has carried out various assistance operations earning her the nickname 'White Lady'.

During her work, she has visited many out of the way places such as the South Shetland Islands, Kergeulen, the Marion and Prince Edward islands and the Antarctic. She has shown the South African flag in many countries and was the first SA Navy vessel to sail around Cape Horn where she called at Ushuaia, the southernmost inhabited town in the world.

The SAS PROTEA's history dates back to 11 January 1922 when HMS CROZIER arrived in Simon's Town. She was renamed HMSAS PROTEA - the first in the line of four SA Navy hydrographic survey vessels of that name. The present SAS PROTEA was built by the Yarrows shipyard in Scotland and is based on the British Royal Navy's HECLA Class hydrographic survey vessel. Launched on 4 July 1971 and commissioned on 23 May 1972, she entered Simon's Town for the first time on 14 July 1972.

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The SAS PROTEA in harbour.

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Survey boats (motor launches) are used for inshore survey work.

Download wallpaper image of the SAS PROTEA

Click here to download a wallpaper image of the SAS PROTEA