Weather has delayed the rescue of a seriously ill Australian expeditioner from the Antarctic

Helicopter on Aurora Australis, Davis vicinity © Mike Zupanc/Australian Antarctic Division

A medical evacuation is underway in the Antarctic of a seriously ill expeditioner at Australia’s Davis station.

The icebreaker, Aurora Australis, which left Davis station two days ago after its last supply run for the season, has turned around to pick up the Australian.

The ship is about 300 nautical miles in a direct line to Davis but it will have to travel 400 nautical miles to reach the station due to current sea ice conditions.

As soon as the ship is within helicopter range, and weather conditions allow, the patient will be transferred to the Aurora Australis.

The weather forecast for the next 40 hours is poor.

The Aurora Australis will also need to take on additional fuel at Davis before heading back to Australia.

The ship is not expected to return to Australia for at least two weeks.

The Australian Antarctic Division says the wintering expeditioner’s health rapidly declined. The patient is in a stable condition and receiving medical care.

The nature of the illness hasn’t been released.

Australia to Davis Station

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