The 52 passengers recently rescued in Antarctica arrived in Hobart, Tasmania today on board P&O Maritime icebreaker and research vessel Aurora Australis.
On arriving back in Hobart, Captain Murray Doyle of the Aurora Australis, said: ”We are delighted the passengers have arrived back safe and sound at the home base of our vessel after a long voyage from Antarctica. Their ordeal made headlines around the world and we were proud to have played a major role in the rescue mission. The operation was long and carefully planned in adverse weather conditions with our Chinese and French partners. My special thanks goes to all those involved and to my crew and attached Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) personnel for their magnificent efforts.”
Rado Antolovic, Managing Director of P&O Maritime, a subsidiary of global marine terminal operator DP World, said: “The Aurora Australis and its crew have played a major role in the successful outcome coordinating with colleagues in Tasmania and across the company. Their combined experience of operating in the region and the specialised services of our vessels helped in the success of the mission. We wish the passengers all the best for the future as they disembark.”
The Aurora Australis had been stationed in Antarctica during efforts to break through the ice in poor visibility and snow showers and took the passengers from the Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy after it became stranded in the ice pack in recent weeks. The transfer took place by helicopter from an ice floe next to the Russian ship to an ice floe next to Aurora Australis and passengers were then lifted on board using the Fast Rescue Craft
The Aurora Australis is currently deployed as an icebreaking research and resupply vessel supporting the Australian Antarctic Division’s Antarctic programme. Duties include expeditionary and cargo transport to the Australian Government’s Antarctic bases and Sub-Antarctic territories as well as marine research in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters.
DP World, January 22, 2014