Nimrod departing for Antarctica, 1907
BuilderStephen, Dundee[1]
Yard number36
CompletedJanuary 1867[1]
FateSold 1909; wrecked 1919
General characteristics
Tonnage334 GRT[1]
PropulsionSails, auxiliary steam engine
Sail planOriginally schooner, rebuilt as barquentine
Speed6 knots (11 km/h) under steam

Nimrod was the ship Ernest Shackleton used in his 1908 Antarctic Nimrod Expedition for the South Pole. It was a 41-year-old schooner of 334 gross register tons that had been used to hunt seals[2] and whales.[1] Shackleton, who paid £5,000 for the ship, had it re-rigged as a barquentine. It also had an auxiliary steam engine, but had a top speed of only six knots under this power. In addition, the ship was so overloaded with supplies for the expedition that it could not carry enough coal to make passage to the Antarctic from New Zealand, and Shackleton had to arrange for the ship to be towed to the edge of the pack ice by tramp steamer Koonya.

The New Zealand government paid half the cost of the tow; Sir James Mills, Chairman of the Union Steamship Company, paid the other half. The Koonya was captained by Fredrick Pryce Evans during the tow.

Nimrod was initially captained by Rupert England, but Shackleton was dissatisfied with him and replaced him with Frederick Pryce Evans, who commanded the ship on the relief voyage in 1909. Nimrod was sold on Shackleton's return to Great Britain.

Nimrod's fate, 10 years after its return from the Antarctic, was to be battered to pieces in the North Sea, after running aground on the Barber Sands off the Norfolk coast on 31 January 1919. Only two of her 12-person crew survived.[3]

A number of geographic features of Antarctica were named after the ship, including Nimrod Glacier.

See also

List of Antarctic exploration ships from the Heroic Age, 1897–1922


  1. ^ a b c d "Search results for "1055047"". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 31 December 2008.
  2. ^ Paine, Lincoln P. (2000). Ships of Discovery and Exploration. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-395-98415-4.
  3. ^ Riffenburgh, Beau (2004). Nimrod: Ernest Shackleton and the Extraordinary Story of the 1907–09 British Antarctic Expedition. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 306–7. ISBN 0-7475-7253-4.