Antarctic research vessel the Aurora Australis trapped in the ice

By Vessels

The research vessel Aurora Australis is trapped in the ice of Antarctica. The icebreaker was planned to return in Hobart 10 days ago. The Australian Antarctic Division has to change the schedule for the early season voyages and part of the work programs will be postponed.

Sea ice near the location of the icebreaker is near 60NM according to satellite images.

Outside that zone the ice is present but easier for sailing and Aurora Australis will be able to navigate. There are 24 crew members on board the ship, they are safe and have enough supplies to live, there is enough food and water available.

The next 2 voyages will be combined in one because the Antarctic season would not allow it. The ice-drilling activities at the Aurora Basin North will continue together with the seabird exploration. There will be consequences for the voyage to Macquarie Island for the exploration of pest eradication, vegetation monitoring, remediation and building activities.

Aurora Australis will loose at least 2 weeks from the plan and is expected to go back to Australia in March.

The research vessel Aurora Australis is trapped in the ice of Antarctica. The icebreaker was planned to return in Hobart 10 days ago. The Australian Antarctic Division has to change the schedule for the early season voyages and part of the work programs will be postponed.

Sea ice near the location of the icebreaker is near 60NM according to satellite images. Outside that zone the ice is present but easier for sailing and Aurora Australis will be able to navigate. There are 24 crew members on board the ship, they are safe and have enough supplies to live, there is enough food and water available.

The next 2 voyages will be combined in one because the Antarctic season would not allow it. The ice-drilling activities at the Aurora Basin North will continue together with the seabird exploration. There will be consequences for the voyage to Macquarie Island for the exploration of pest eradication, vegetation monitoring, remediation and building activities.

Aurora Australis will loose at least 2 weeks from the plan and is expected to go back to Australia in March. 

Background information:

  • The Aurora Australis goes to Antarctica several times in the year, preferred time September to April.
  • Through the winter in Antarctica the ice is so thick that ships are unable to sail.
  • Aurora Australis is designed with flat bottom in order to break the ice with her weight.
  • 95 metres longe
  • 3911 tonnes
  • Can break the ice 1.2m thick and in the same time sailing with 4.5km/h
  • Passenger capacity - 116
  • Produce 45,000 litres of fresh water for 24 hours from sea water.