• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s niece names boat after his, Endurance


Sep 27, 2022

THE great-great niece of a famous explorer has become the first person allowed to name her boat “Endurance” after the notorious ship which sunk in the Antarctic Sea.

Anna Shackleton is descended from the family of Sir Ernest Shackleton who famously led three British expeditions to the Antarctic.

Between 1914 and 1917, Shackleton led the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition when disaster struck and his ship, Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and sunk.

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The crews escaped by camping on the sea ice. Since the expedition, no boat-user has been allowed to name their vehicle Endurance.

This is until Miss Shackleton, 33, of Sutton Courtenay near Abingdon, refurbished her own narrow boat which she moors near the village.

The singer decided to rename the boat “Endurance II” as a joke due to her family connection but was shocked to find she was allowed the name itself because she is related to the explorer.

“I thought I would call it ‘Endurance II’ as a joke,” she said. “But when I called the registration office they said it was already taken by a police vehicle.

“They offered me ‘Endurance 14’ but that wasn’t as funny. I said I was a Shackleton and the phone line went silent.

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“After an age, they said I could have ‘Endurance’ without any numbers so it was meant to be.”

Miss Shackleton decided to buy her boat about six years ago from a neighbour after a “rough patch” in life.

She got a new engine, new bathroom, new bedroom, had the windows resealed and repainted the boat with pictures of icebergs.

“I naively took on the project,” she said. “It wasn’t something I had planned my whole life for. I love being outside and being with nature and it’s great for me.

“I knew there was some work but not as much that needed to be done. If I knew I may not have taken it on so it’s good I was naïve.

“But our family motto is, ‘By endurance we conquer’. So I thought if Sir Ernest can take his crews on expeditions I can do up this boat.”

Miss Shackleton is related to the explorer through her dads side, Jason Shackleton, who is married to Dr. Sheena Pinchin.

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The singer said she has grown up hearing stories of Sir Ernest, whose boat was recently discovered in the Weddell Sea in March.

“It’s a story passed down,” she said. “There’s lots of photos and memories which have always been there in my life.

“I think it’s amazing the boat has been found.”

Miss Shackleton now runs a small cafe from the boat named "Endurance Boat Cafe" which she does for fun.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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