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Friday, July 20, 2018

Icebreaker Aground in Antarctica

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 25, 2016

Aerial view of the ship Aurora Australis surrounded by icy and water. Photo by Department of the Environment Australian Antarctic Division

Aerial view of the ship Aurora Australis surrounded by icy and water. Photo by Department of the Environment Australian Antarctic Division

Australia's icebreaker Aurora Australis has run ashore at Mawson Station while resupplying the Antarctic base, reports Reuters.

 
A statement from the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) on Wednesday confirmed 67 expeditioners and crew were on board the ship when it broke free of its mooring lines at 3.15pm during a blizzard. But no-one was injured.
 
An AAD spokeswoman said the ship remains watertight, with no damage to the hull, but blizzard conditions are hampering a full assessment of the damage and the crew are closely monitoring the hull from inside the ship.
 
The AAD said blizzard conditions were forecast to ease by Thursday and expedition members would be transferred to Mawson research station if winds dropped below 55km/h (34mph).
 
Aurora Australis is owned by P&O Maritime Services but is chartered by the AAD for research missions to Antarctica. The ship, which came into service in 1989, is due to be replaced by a new $500 million icebreaker in 2019.
 
The AAD is working closely with the owners of the Aurora Australis, P&O Maritime Services, to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew as a priority.
 
The Aurora Australis left Hobart in Tasmania on 11 January and carried out marine science research around the Kerguelen Plateau, a submerged continent that extends for 2,200km (1,365 miles), before arriving at Mawson on Saturday.
 
It broke free of mooring lines amid winds of more than 130kph (80mph) and ran aground at West Arm in Horseshoe Harbour.
 
Mawson Station is one of three Australian bases in the Australian Antarctic Territory of East Antarctica.  
 
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