Photos: 2 Crew Members Of ‘RRS Sir David Attenborough’ Create History With Same-Sex Wedding In Antarctica

Two crew members from RRS Sir David Attenborough have made history after they became the first-ever same-sex couple to get married in the British Antarctic Territory. Stephen Carpenter and Stewards Eric Bourne are experienced seafarers. They have travelled the globe on many ships.

Ship Captain Will Whatley reads the nuptials to Eric (left) and Steve, with staff from Rothera Research Station in the background.
Ship Captain Will Whatley reads the nuptials to Eric (left) and Steve, with staff from Rothera Research Station in the background. | Image Credits: Rich Turner @BAS

It was 2002 December when they first met while they were employees of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Later on, they were part of the Middle East on RFA Sir Percivale. Years later and thousands of miles away in the Antarctic, their special day started at 5.30 am in the galley of RRS Sir David Attenborough, where they started preparing for the ceremony.

Hugging
Image Credits: Rich Turner @BAS

HullLive has reported that the couple then gathered with the ship’s crew members and had been married off by the ship captain named Will Whatley at the Rothera Research Station of the British Antarctic Survey.

The ship’s crew create an archway for Steve (left) and Eric holding ice axes used for polar fieldwork
The ship’s crew create an archway for Steve (left) and Eric holding ice axes used for polar fieldwork. | Image Credits: Rich Turner @BAS

Bourne said that he was proud to make history, mentioning that it was certainly “the best day” of his life.

wedding cake
Image Credits: Rich Turner @BAS

After the event, the pair received speeches from the best men – including crew members – followed by music from the doctor of the ship.

The couple’s rings have been engraved with the coordinates of Rothera Research Station – 67 34’ S 68 08’ W.
The couple’s rings have been engraved with the coordinates of Rothera Research Station – 67 34’ S 68 08’ W. | Image Credits: Rich Turner @BAS

Mr Whatley mentioned that it was an “honour” for him as he got the opportunity to officiate Stephen and Steward’s wedding, adding that RRS Sir David Attenborough is merely not a place of work but their home too.

with pride flag
Steve (left) and Eric with the pride flag on the RRS Sir David Attenborough. | Image Credits: Rich Turner @BAS

It was a privilege to be there for two integral members as they celebrate their marriage.

Reference: bas.ac.uk

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