If you thought it was a bit chilly for the Bury St Edmunds Santa Run, spare a thought for the crew of the ice patrol ship HMS Protector on their run.
They did their Santa Run for East Anglian Children’s Hospices on the ice around Deception Island, a dormant, water-filled caldera volcano, in the Antarctic.
It may be summer down there but the Royal Navy’s former ice breaker had to smash its way through surface ice to get there.
But her 20 crew dressed as Santas, accompanied by Rudolph, were gathered at 10am fora gentle warm up led by the Executive Officer, Commander Don Mackinnon,currently in command for this Antarctic Patrol, before it was “on your marks,get set, ….ho ho ho”.
It is traditional for Royal Naval ships to adopt a charity from their affiliated town so that they can fundraise whilst away from the UK. HMS Protector has formed a close liaison with a number of organisations in Cambridge including the British Antarctic Survey and the Scott Polar Research Institute, so is affiliated to the city.
HMS Protector adopted EACH in August.
Commander Mackinnon said: “It’s nice to be able to take a break from operations now and again, and do something both for fun, and also to help our affiliated charity at the same time.”
EACH fund raising manager Denise Norris-Fenn said: “They’re a long way from home. It’s wonderful that they’re there and thinking about EACH and the children we care for. They’re such fun pictures, they cheered us up.”