Animal passion for Valentine’s Day


Published: Saturday 14th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Sailors on board a Royal Navy warship have come over all romantic this Valentine’s Day as they have been seeing signs of love in one of the iciest places on Earth.

Photographer Leading Engineering Technician Richard Parry, of HMS Dragon, has captured images of sea lion pups “kissing” and penguins waddling “hand-in-hand” while the Type 45 destroyer was visiting the remote island of South Georgia in the South Atlantic.

Logistics officer Lieutenant Commander Andy Bray said: “It was really heartwarming to see that love is alive and well in the animal kingdom in South Georgia, despite the chilly weather.

“It just makes us all even more aware of the fact that we will be missing our own loved ones back home on Valentine’s Day.”

He added: “South Georgia is truly a breathtaking place and everyone got the chance to step ashore and experience its beauty and witness the wildlife close-up.”

T he ship is on a seven-month deployment providing reassurance to the citizens of Britain’s overseas territories including the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

Just 30 people live in South Georgia, the majority of them scientists from the British Antarctic Survey monitoring its wildlife which includes large penguin colonies, gulls, petrels, seals and whales.

Chief Petty Officer Simon Geldart said: “The chance to visit South Georgia is simply a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was fantastic to meet the people there, see how the UK is helping to preserve the natural beauty of the islands and to get so up close with some amazing wildlife.

“Of course, we all could not miss the chance to see where Sir Ernest Shackleton died and it was fascinating to see his memorial – so far from home.”

HMS Dragon, which has a 200-strong ship’s company, has also sailed through the Panama Canal, visited Chile for a defence exhibition and Great War commemorations, navigated through the Patagonian Canals, travelled around Cape Horn and into the South Atlantic. It is due to return to its home base of Portsmouth in the late spring.

Published: Saturday 14th February 2015 by The News Editor

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