Australia's New Icebreaker Starts Sea Trials
Australia’s newly completed icebreaker, RSV Nuyina, has left the Netherlands port of Vlissingen to commence trials in the North Sea.
The start of the month-long sea trials, which had been pushed back due to delays stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, will be followed by additional weeks of deepwater trials involving the Australian Antarctic Division, ship managers Serco and shipbuilder Damen. Testing of the ship’s speed, noise, propulsion systems, steering, advanced electrical systems and science equipment will take place as the vessel prepares for final sea ice trials in the Arctic early next year.
One of the most advanced vessels of its kind in the world, RSV Nuyina, built at Damen’s Galați shipyard in Romania and towed to the Netherlands for final commissioning and sea trials, will provide a scientific platform for Antarctic researchers, carrying cutting-edge equipment to study the depths of the Southern Ocean, sea ice and the upper atmosphere.
The 160-meter-long, 24,000-metric-ton RSV Nuyina, designed by Knud E Hansen, was built to replace the retired Aurora Australis, offering scientists extended access to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.
With capacity to carry 117 expeditioners, 1,200 tonnes of cargo and 1.9 million liters of fuel, the icebreaker will be the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations for decades to come.
Nuyina (meaning ‘southern lights’ in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines, pronounced noy-yee-nah) is expected to arrive in its home port of Hobart in mid-2021 to commence Antarctic operations in next year’s summer season.