Australian Icebreaker Returns After Being Stuck In Pack Ice For Three Weeks
By Paul Homewood
The Australian supply ship, the icebreaker Aurora Australis, has finally returned to port in Hobart, after being stuck in the pack ice for three weeks.
The ship had left the Davis Research Station on the Antarctic coast on 12th November, but became stuck soon after, about 180 miles off the coast. It finally broke free of the ice on 3rd December.
It had been due back in Hobart originally on 16th November, but the three week delay has meant that the planned three voyage season has had to be curtailed to two:
Australian Antarctic Division Director, Dr Tony Fleming said that the ship’s delayed arrival and the recent helicopter crash near Davis station have necessitated changes to subsequent voyages and some research projects.
“To ensure the Antarctic season can progress with minimal disruption, we have combined the next two voyages into one extended voyage visiting Macquarie Island before continuing on to resupply Casey station.
The Aurora Australis is described as “Australia’s Antarctic Flagship” by the Australian Antarctic Division, and is a modern icebreaker capable of breaking ice up to 1.23 metres thick.