(2) what plans he has for transporting HMS Endurance to the United Kingdom; and what estimate he has made of the cost of such transportation;
(3) when he expects repairs to HMS Endurance to be completed; and when he expects HMS Endurance to be operational.
Ministers were notified of the flooding incident in HMS Endurance's engine room on 16 December 2008 and officials have kept us informed of the situation to date.
A contract has now been signed with Dockwise who will return HMS Endurance to the UK by the heavy lift vessel MV Target. It is currently estimated that the ship will return to the UK around 20 March 2009, weather permitting. Subject to detailed survey, our intention is that the ship will then be repaired prior to her return to service at a date yet to be agreed. I am withholding the cost of the heavy lift contract and the projected repair costs as they are commercially sensitive.