Trinity House forges training partnership with British Antarctic Survey

Trinity House Merchant Navy Cadets join prestigious polar research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough

Trinity House is delighted to confirm that its Merchant Navy Cadets will now be training with British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on board their new state-of-the-art polar research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough.

Four Trinity House Merchant Navy Cadets will be joining the vessel for the first time in May 2022 for a four-month training deployment. During their time on board, the cadets will undertake a range of activities and tasks as part of completing their MNTB Training Record Books, including vessel familiarisation, maintenance work and watchkeeping duties.

RRS Sir David Attenborough is one of the most advanced research vessels in the world and is set to transform ship-borne science in the Polar Regions. The ship was commissioned by NERC, built by Cammell Laird and is operated by BAS.

BAS took delivery of RRS Sir David Attenborough in November 2020 and the ship departed the UK for its maiden voyage on 17 November 2021. The ship is currently sailing back to the UK following a successful first season in Antarctica, under the command of former Trinity House Merchant Navy Scholarship Scheme Cadet Captain Will Whatley.

Captain Nigel Hope, Director of Maritime Training for Trinity House, remarked:

We are delighted BAS have selected Trinity House cadets to train on board RRS Sir David Attenborough, as the training opportunities that BAS can provide will be invaluable. Trinity House cadets train on board a variety of different vessels during their sea phases. We are looking forward to working with BAS on this long-term partnership.”

Captain Will Whatley, Master of RRS Sir David Attenborough, says:

I started my career at sea as a Trinity House Cadet myself so it gives me great pleasure to be able to welcome this first group of cadets aboard our incredible new ship. This trip will give the cadets a fantastic experience as this ship has so many interesting features. I look forward to having Trinity House cadets on board RRS Sir David Attenborough for many years to come.”


Trinity House

Trinity House is a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers, providing education, support and welfare to the seafaring community with a statutory duty as a General Lighthouse Authority to deliver a reliable, efficient and cost-effective aids to navigation service for the benefit and safety of all mariners.

The Trinity House Merchant Navy Scholarship Scheme provides financial support for young people seeking careers as officers in the Merchant Navy.

Please visit for more information.

British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) does polar science. We are an institute of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which is part of (UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). We deliver and enable world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Our skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through our logistic capability and expertise BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. National and international collaborations and an excellent infrastructure help us to sustain a world-leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs.

Visit: or follow us on social media: TW @BAS_news, FB @BritishAntarcticSurvey, LI @british-antarctic-survey, IG @britishantarcticsurvey YT

For further information please contact:

Neil Jones, Public Relations and Records Manager, Trinity House:


SDA in ice DJI_0395-(Jamie Anderson).jpg

Aerial view of RRS Sir David Attenborough used with permission of Jamie Anderson, BAS

Image of RRS Sir David Attenborough in Antarctica used with permission of Jenna Plank, BAS