Weather conditions have improved at Mawson Station in the Antarctic where a blizzard grounded the Aurora Australis supply ship.
All 68 expeditioners and crew on board the Aurora Australis are safe and well.
The ship’s crew will try to refloat the ship once 37 expeditioners are transferred ashore to Mawson by barge.
The ship, which on Wednesday hit rocks at West Arm in Horseshoe Harbour, will be refloated through a combined process of using the ballast system and work boats.
Here’s footage of the Aurora Australis during the storm:
Monitoring of a breach in the hull, into a space that is usually flooded with ballast water, is continuing.
The Australian Antarctic Division says this breach poses no risk to the stability of the vessel or of fuel leaking into the environment.
The crew are monitoring the ship’s fuel levels and the marine environment with no evidence of any fuel spill to date.
The Australian Antarctic Division is consulting with other national Antarctic programs to develop options for transporting expeditioners from Mawson research station back to Australia.
And here’s some footage of the white out during the blizzard, taken from inside the Aurora Australis:
More than 30 expeditioners from Davis research station, scheduled to return home on the Aurora Australis after the summer season, will be transported via a US LC130 aircraft on Saturday to Casey research station. They will then be flown home on the Australian Antarctic Division’s A319 Airbus.
The Australian Antarctic Division says it is working closely with P&O Maritime Services, owners of the Aurora Australis, to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew as a priority.
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