Australian Antarctic Division News

15 Apr 2020

Sea Trials for Australia's New Icebreaker Delayed Due to COVID-19

(Photo: Australian Antarctic Program)

Australia's newly built Antarctic icebreaking research and supply vessel (RSV) is nearly ready to be delivered, but its sea trials have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) said.Construction of the ship commenced at Damen’s Galați shipyard in Romania in May 2017, and the vessel was floated out in September 2018 prior to its scheduled arrival at home port Hobart in 2020. But delays brought on tby the COVID-19 outbreak have derailed…

13 Mar 2020

Icebreaker Aurora Australis Begins Final Voyage

Expeditioners holding up flares to farewell the Aurora Australis, as it departs Mawson research station, February 26, 2020 (Photo: Matt Williams)

It's an end of an era for Australia’s Antarctic icebreaker RSV Aurora Australis, which departed Hobart earlier this week for its final voyage after 31 years of service to the Australian Antarctic Program.The ship’s final trip south will be a two-week voyage to resupply sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and transport expeditioners.“The Aurora Australis has been the backbone of the Australian Antarctic Program for more than three decades, so the vessel has a special place in our history,” said Australian Antarctic Division’s General Manager of Operations, Charlton Clark.“Over its lifetime the icebr

20 Feb 2019

Radio Holland to Renew IT Infrastructure for Jack-Up Barge

JB-115 at Kriegers Flak for substation hook up and commissioning. (Radio Holland)

Recently, Radio Holland received the order to renew the complete IT infrastructure for the JB-115 barge of Jack-Up Barge. The order includes design, installation and commissioning of an IT network. The JB-115 is an existing platform which has an IT structure on board, that is no longer Future Proof.Segmented networkThe JB-115 operates as a “hotel-at-sea” with fixed accommodation up to 110 Persons on Board and is often stationed at wind energy projects. Next to providing hotel accommodation the JB-115 also provides operational support at sea…

26 Oct 2018

Knud E. Hansen, DTU Aqua Pact on Marine Research Vessel

Image provided by Knud E. Hansen

Danish naval architectural firm Knud E. Hansen has signed a contract with the Technical University of Denmark's DTU Aqua (National Institute of Aquatic Resources) on consultancy assistance for a project study and concept design of a 65M multidisciplinary marine research vessel to replace the aging R/V DANA IV from 1981."Knud E. Hansen signed the contract on the basis of our references in designing fishing vessels and in-depth know how in marine research vessels and icebreakers for scientific operations…

30 Jul 2018

Damen Lays Keel for 77-meter Expedition Yacht

(Image: Damen)

On July 27 DAMEN SeaXplorer marked a milestone in the construction of the SeaXplorer 77 expedition yacht at a keel laying ceremony at Damen Shipyards Galati on the banks of the Danube. The owner attended the ceremony and welded the traditional coin on the keel. Following the hull building phase, the 77-meter luxury expedition yacht (253 ft) will arrive at Damen’s Vlissingen East yard in the Netherlands for completion and on-schedule delivery in Q4 2020.The SeaXplorer 77 is a customized design from the DAMEN SeaXplorer range.

06 Nov 2017

Damen Contracts Taylor Bros for Icebreaker Barges

left to right:  Mr. Peter Gutwein (the Tasmanian Minister for State Growth), Mr. Magiel Venema (Damen Australia Project Director), Mr. Greg Taylor (Taylor Bros), Mr. Phillip Taylor (Taylor Bros) (Photo: DSNS)

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) has selected Taylor Bros of Tasmania to supply two high powered Antarctic landing barges for Australia’s new icebreaker, the RSV Nuyina. Damen is building the vessel at its yard, Damen Shipyards Galati, in Romania for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). The vessel will be operated by DMS Maritime, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco, and is an integral part of the AAD’s research program in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The signing ceremony was attended by the Tasmanian Minister for State Growth, Mr.

25 Aug 2017

Keel Laid for Australia's New Antarctic Supply/Research Vessel

(Photo: Damen)

Construction of Australia's new Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) has taken an important step forward with an official keel laying ceremony carried out at Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania. Damen is building the ASRV for Serco Defence on behalf of the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands is responsible for engineering and project management, and Damen Shipyards Galati will perform vessel construction and outfitting. The ice-breaking ASRV is a multi-mission vessel that has been designed to undertake a variety of roles.

19 Jul 2017

IT Package Ordered for Australian Arctic Research Ship

Artist impression Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) for the Australian Antarctic Division.  (Photo: Radio Holland)

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS, Vlissingen) has awarded Radio Holland a contract to supply the IT systems on board the state-of-the-art Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) newbuild for the Australian Antarctic Division. The 160m ASRV is a survey vessel which combines icebreaking, survey and supply activities. The vessel will be able to break ice up to 1.65 meters at a speed of 3 knots and will supply Australia’s permanent research stations in Antarctica and Macquarie Island with cargo, equipment and personnel.

01 Jun 2017

First Steel Cut for Australia's New Polar Research Ship

Photo: Damen

Marking the commencement of construction of the Damen Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV), a steel cutting ceremony has been held at Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania. Damen is constructing the ASRV for Serco Defence, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco Australia who, in turn, signed a contract with the Australian Government last year for the delivery, operation and maintenance of the vessel. “Cutting the first steel for any vessel is always significant. However, the fact that the ASRV is such a ground-breaker makes this a very exciting moment,” said Damen Project Director Joop Noordijk.

06 Mar 2017

Norsafe to Equip Australia's New Polar Research Ship

Photo: Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding

Norsafe said it has signed a contract with Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding BV to supply IMO Polar Code compliant Life Saving Appliances (LSA) to an arctic supply and research vessel for the Australian Antarctic Division. Norsafe will supply two JYN-85 conventional lifeboats with LH-140 davits and two JYN-115 lifeboats with LH-185 davits to the vessel. This is the second order Norsafe has received for its specialist LSA winning its first Polar Code contract with the British Antarctic Survey Polar Research vessel Sir David Attenborough in November last year.

21 Nov 2016

MAN Powers Antarctic Icebreaker

A graphic of the new icebreaker in the ice (Image: Damen/DMS Maritime/Knud E Hansen A/S).

MAN Diesel & Turbo has been selected to supply the main engines to a new, icebreaking, supply-and-research vessel for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). The 2 × 16V32/44CR main engines – each producing 9,600 kW – were chosen for their highly reliable and fuel-efficient design that will serve in an environment with a demanding operational profile, including temperatures down to -30 degrees and extended mission times. The vessel is being procured by Serco Defence through DMS Maritime (prime contractor) and will be designed and built by Damen Shipyards Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS).

08 Jun 2016

Mid-winter Air drop for Australian Antarctic Division

The Australian Antarctic Division and Royal Australian Air Force have successfully flown a joint operational mission to East Antarctica, with a C-17A Globemaster III Photo RAAF

A Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft from Number 36 Squadron has successfully performed an air drop mission over Antarctica in support of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) building on the summer drop previously conducted in February 2016. The most recent air drop provides the Royal Australian Air Force with an all-season resupply capability and the ability to provide support to the current expeditioners on the continent. The air drop consisted of pallets containing supplies for vehicles and plant equipment, medical supplies and personal mail.

11 May 2016

Australia Orders Antarctic Supply Research Vessel

Image: Damen

The Australian Government has signed a deal with DMS Maritime, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco, for the delivery, operation and maintenance of an Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) with icebreaking capabilities. The vessel, to be built by the Damen Shipyards Group, will form an integral part of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) program in the coming years. The April 28 signing ceremony in Hobart Tasmania was attended by Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julia Bishop and Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt.

26 Feb 2016

Australian Icebreaker Refloated in Antarctica

Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis was refloated on Friday, two days after running aground in Antarctica while on a mission to resupply the Mawson Station, Australian Broadcasting Corp reported. The ship broke free of its moorings during a blizzard on Wednesday morning. None of the 67 expeditioners and crew on board on the ship, owned by P&O Maritime Services, were injured, according to the Australian Antarctic Division. "Expeditioners on board the Aurora Australis have been successfully transferred by barge to Mawson Station," it said. The Aurora Australis departed Australia's Tasmania island in early January to conduct research on an undersea geological formation. Ships traveling to and from Antarctica often face risky conditions.

25 Feb 2016

Icebreaker Aground in Antarctica

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.

24 Dec 2015

Drone Technology Aids Antarctic Ship Operations

Australian UAV Director James Rennie prepares the drone on the aft deck of the Aurora Australis (Courtesy Australian UAV)

A quadcopter drone has helped navigate the Aurora Australis through the sea ice on its annual resupply voyage to Casey station. Flown off the aft deck of the ship, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) provided the crew with real-time imagery of the sea ice conditions ahead of the ship, optimising navigation decisions. Australian Antarctic Division Future Concepts Manager, Matt Filipowski, said the drone was a valuable addition to the current suite of sea ice navigation tools, which include satellite imagery and radar.

19 Mar 2015

Icebreaker Makes Emergency Return to Antarctica

Aurora Australis (Photo: Wendy Pyper)

The icebreaker 'Aurora Australis' was forced to return to Antarctica on Thursday, to evacuate a seriously ill Australian expedition member, just two days after leaving him on Davis Station to spend the winter in Antarctica. The Australian icebreaker will take almost two days to cover the 400 nautical miles back to Davis Station, because of sea ice conditions. When it is close enough, a helicopter will ferry the ill man to the ship. "The current weather forecast for the next 40 hours is poor…

26 Nov 2013

Australian Resupply Ship Delayed by Heavy Ice

The Aurora Australis two kilometers off station on a clear sunny day at resupply (Photo: Colin)

The Australian Antarctic Division has rescheduled its early season voyages with the icebreaker Aurora Australis delayed in heavy ice conditions off the Antarctic coast. The ship is in heavy ice about 180 nautical miles off Davis station, returning from resupplying the station and delivering summer personnel. Radar satellite images this morning indicated that while there may be some useful openings, the sea ice extends to approximately 60 nautical miles around the ship. Beyond that, less concentrated ice will be easier to navigate. Australian Antarctic Division Director, Dr.

26 Dec 2013

Search and Rescue of Ice-trapped Passenger Vessel Underway

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is coordinating a search and rescue for a Russian passenger ship beset by ice approximately 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart. AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) was contacted by the Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) in the United Kingdom on Christmas morning. The Falmouth MRCC received a distress message via satellite from a Russian flagged vessel, MV Akademik Shokalskiy, with 74 people about 7:20 a.m. (AEDT). The ship is in the Australian Search and Rescue region, 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont D’Urville. RCC Australia assumed coordination of the incident and issued a broadcast to icebreaking vessels in the area.

27 Dec 2013

Rescue for Ice-Beset Vessel Underway

First vessel approaching vessel beset in Antarctic ice The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is continuing the coordination of a search and rescue for a Russian vessel beset by ice approximate ly 1500 nautical miles south of Hobart. AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) tasked three vessels with icebreaking capability to proceed towards the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, 100 nautical miles east of the French station Dumont D’Urville. The first of the three vessels tasked by RCC Australia is now about 15 nautical miles from the vessel, progressing at slow speed and the second vessel remains about 20 nautical miles away. Weather conditions improved on Friday, with strong winds and snow abating. Conditions are expected to remain favourable for the next two days.

30 Dec 2013

Latest on Ice-bound Antarctic Passenger Ship

Akademik Shokalskiy: Photo courtesy of the owners

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) vessel 'Aurora Australis' is continuing to make its way to the Russian vessel beset by ice approximately 1500 nautical miles south of Hobart, reports the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA). The Aurora Australis, which was tasked by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC Australia) to assist the MV Akademic Shokalskiy, is currently located about 11 nautical miles from the Russian vessel in the ice field.

30 Dec 2013

Weather Conditions Impact Antarctica Rescue

Adverse weather conditions have resulted in the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) vessel Aurora Australis moving back into open water this afternoon. The area where the MV Akademik Shokalskiy is beset by ice is currently experiencing winds of up to 30 knots and snow showers. These weather conditions have resulted in poor visibility and made it difficult and unsafe for the Aurora Australis to continue today’s attempt to assist the MV Akademik Shokalskiy. Further attempts may be made by the vessel in due course to undertake the rescue once weather conditions improve. The Aurora Australis made it within 10 nautical miles of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy but is now located in open waters about 18 nautical miles east of the Russian vessel.

22 Jan 2014

Australian Navy Surveys Antarctica

Antarctic Survey Vessel Wyatt Earp Surveying Newcomb Bay. Photo: ABHSO Dyer, Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy’s Deployable Geospatial Survey Team returned from a six-week Antarctic expedition to collect essential data for navigational charts and scientific research. The team sailed from Hobart in RSV Aurora Australis on December 11, 2013 to conduct a hydrographic survey in the vicinity of Casey Station, a permanent base in Antarctica managed by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). “We sailed the Wyatt Earp from Aurora Australis seven times in conditions of extreme cold to collect high quality data…

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