British Antarctic research base to shut because of ice crack

British Antarctic research base to shut because of ice crack

The British Antarctic Survey has announced it will withdraw staff from one of its research bases because of the danger posed by an ice crack.

All British Antarctic Survey staff will withdraw from the Halley VI base on the Brunt Ice Shelf in March for safety reasons, amid concerns the ice shelf could float off on an iceberg.

See also: Mysterious pyramids found in Antarctica

See also: World's biggest marine reserve created in Antarctica

The relocation plan was sparked after the discovery of an ice crack in October, some 11 miles north of the station, which gathers weather and climate data and studies solar activity and its impacts on Earth.

The scientists plan to shift the base further inland and away from the chasm using the base's hydraulic legs.

The researchers plan to return after the Antarctic winter is over, possibly in November, according to the BBC.

According to NDTV, the BAS said in a statement: "There is no immediate risk to the people currently at the station, or to the station itself.

"However, there is sufficient uncertainty about what could happen to the ice during the coming Antarctic winter for BAS to change its operational plans."

"It is prudent for safety reasons to shut down the station as a precautionary measure and remove its people before the Antarctic winter begins."

World's most remote islands
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World's most remote islands

Desroches Island in the Indian Ocean is the perfect place for complete isolation and to de-stress on an exotic island. Its remoteness means there's no mobile phone signal and the only sounds you'll hear are the ones provided by Mother Nature! The paradise island is located 230km from Mahe in the Seychelles and can be reached by plane or yacht. Desroches is concealed beneath the shade of coconut palms and vegetation, with various beach retreats to sleep in. Stay in one of the Beach Villas, which have their own private gardens and swimming pools.

For the experience of a lifetime visit one of the most isolated islands of the world, Jana Mayen, which is Norwegian territory and lies 600km from Iceland. Although tourists visiting the island are extremely rare, Hurtigruten's The Climate Voyage visits the remote island with the MS Fram ship on a tour starting from Iceland and ending in Svalbard with discussions about shore landings and climate change on the way. From £2,360 for an eight-day voyage.

With acres of botanical gardens, secluded beaches dotted along the 32km of diverse coastline and a relaxed pace of life, you'll want to pack your bag and head to Norfolk Island for a holiday. The island is located 1,412km east of mainland Australia with a population of 2,300 and plenty to do on a laidback break. Fishing, surfing, horse riding and cycling are just a few of the activities available and when it comes to eating, there's fresh food from the sea and land, plus pretty cottages, apartments and hotels on the island to stay in. The island may be far from mainland Australia but there's shopping, wining and dining and a great social scene to enjoy, with galleries and markets to visit too.

Located 1,500 miles off the coast of Cape Town and part of the British Overseas Territory is the island of Saint Helena, which is 47 square miles in size and has a population of over 4,000 with just 2,000 tourists visiting per year. Saint Helena boasts stunning natural beauty and is steeped in history while best known as the place of Napoleon's exile. The only access to the island is by sea and it's made up of rocky terrain and forest with the national park Diana's Peak as its highest point. The RMS St Helena passenger ship visits several ports of call including Saint Helena, Ascension Island and Cape Town. A 10-day voyage costs £2,121 per person.

As Canada's most northerly island, you can imagine that Ellesmere is pretty cold. It is part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and is one of the world's largest islands, where North America’s most northern community, Grise Fiord is located. Ellesmere is home to the Quttinirpaaq National Park, which covers most of the island, the huge Lake Hazen and plenty of glaciers and ice! The population of the 75,767 square-mile island is just 146 and some of the wildlife you may see in the national park includes rare Peary caribou, musk oxen or arctic wolves. Hiking, climbing and skiing are a few of the activities available in the national park.

Located off the northwest tip of the island of New Guinea in Indonesia, the Raja Ampat archipelago is mostly uninhabited and purely stunning. The archipelago is only accessible by boat and comprises of over 1,500 small islands and the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. The islands are incredibly remote and almost undisturbed by humans, while best known for their amazing marine life with one of the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world making them a haven for scuba divers, kayakers and snorkelers. Get there on the 34-metre Tiger Blue yacht, which will take you through the islands to see the dramatic landscapes, coastlines and wonderful wildlife of the Raja Ampat Islands.

The privately-owned island of Petit St Vincent, known locally as PSV, is located on the most southern tip of the Grenadines offering guests an escape from modern day stresses and has just 22 private cottages spread over 113 acres of rolling hills. Here you can enjoy all-out luxury and complete disconnection from the outside world - there are no TVs, phones or internet in the cottages. The cottages do, however, have wooden sundecks and sunken living rooms - perfect for relaxing and not caring about your emails! Around the island there's two miles of white sand beaches, meditating yoga sessions in a pavilion looking out over Concha Bay, as well as scuba diving to explore the coral reefs and hiking to the summit of the island to discover the orchids and banyan trees. Could an island escape get any better than this?

If you want an island getaway that's far away from everything, tranquil and undeveloped, head to the gorgeous Gambier archipelago, which lies over 1,600km southeast of Tahiti in French Polynesia and stay on the largest island Mangareva. There is one flight from Tahiti a week and a local boat meets passengers at the airport. Once on the island, you can explore the main village of Rikitea with its cathedral that has an altar adorned with pearls, see the ruins of Rikitea, which include a convent, a number of watchtowers, a jail and a court, and hike to Mt Duff to see the stunning views of the pearl-rich lagoons of Mangareva.

The island of Tristan da Cunha, part of British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean, has just 261 people residing on it and is an active volcano boasting rare wildlife including rockhopper penguins and the Yellow-nosed Albatross. The island is located 1,750 miles from South Africa and can only be reached by sea, on once-yearly sea crossings or on a fishing vessel from Cape Town. It's part of the Tristan da Cunha group of islands, which includes Saint Helena Island and is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world. On Tristan da Cunha you'll find B&B accommodation, a museum, post office where there are ladies that make great cakes and coffee, plus the world's most remote golf course. Don't leave the island without trying the high quality crayfish, buying a novelty penguin knitted by local women and browsing its famous collectable stamps.

One of the world's most mysterious places, Easter Island, is also one of most remote inhabited islands with just over 5,000 people residing on it and located in the south-eastern Pacific Ocean 3,510km west of Chile. Easter Island's Polynesian name is Rapa Nui and it is famous for its 887 eerie-looking monolithic statues, moai, which were created by the early Rapanui people and scattered around the island. The island is surrounded by the world's most transparent waters and has three extinct volcanoes. Explora offers trips to Easter Island where you can stay at the beautiful Posada de Mike Rapu lodge on a hill in the centre of the island and choose from 15 different walking or cycling treks.


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