Ordered in 1969 as part of an initiative to provide greater protection for Falkland Island fishing boats operating within the Falkland Islands Economic Exclusion Zone (FIEEZ) around the islands the Shackleton was the largest vessel operated by the independant island nation. The Argentinians constantly challenged the FIEEZ thus necessitating the need for more powerful ships. The vessel was partly funded by the British Government on the condition that it was built in a British shipyard. She entered service in 1971.
The Shackleton immediately made its presence known when it intercepted the Argentine fishing boat Juarez II operating thirty miles inside the FIEEZ on March 13th 1971. Over the ten years she was in service she regularly operated with air support from the Royal Falkland Islands Police Air Wing and proved a real threat to any Argentine fishing boats wishing to challenge the FIEEZ.
On the 2nd of April 1982 with the Argentine Invasion of the islands well underway the crew of the Shackleton who were operating in the eastern waters around the islands were ordered to surrender to the Argentine Navy in order to prevent further loss of life in a futile battle with the superior Argentine forces. In a final act of defiance the crew abandoned the vessel upon sighting the Argentine warship ARA Hercules before explosives they had set ripped a hole in the hull sending her to the bottom.
Type; Extended endurance fisheries protection vessel
Displacement; 1,437tons (full load)
Length; 70 meters
Beam; 13 meters
Propulsion; 2xShafts, 2x5387hp Diesel engines
Armament; 1x20mm Bofors gun. 3x.50in heavy MG.