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Antarctic icebreaker Aurora Australis has successfully refloated after being stranded for two days

Photo: Australian Antarctic Division.

Aurora Australis has successfully refloated after being stranded for two days in Antarctica.

On Wednesday morning, the icebreaker broke away from its mooring lines during a blizzard with wind gusts of more than 170km/h and was grounded on rocks at the West Arm in Horseshoe Harbour.

68 people were stranded on board before the ship was refloated on Friday evening at 7.20pm through internal ballast transfers and work boats.

37 expeditioners on board the ship were transferred by barge to Mawson Station — one of Australia’s three permanent bases in the Australian Antarctic Territory of East Antarctica — and are expected to be flown home in the coming days.

Aurora Australis, contracted by the Australian Antarctic Division, was on its way to Macquarie Island for a supply mission after departing from Tasmania in January.

It is likely the ship will sail to Western Australia for repairs after suffering damage to its hull.

Here’s a video of the icebreaker below.

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