Antarctic explorers rescued after getting stranded on icebreaker ship

The ship was left struggling after a severe blizzard

Updated: 
Antarctica explorers rescued after they were stranded on icebreaker ship

The crew of an icebreaker ship in Antarctica became stranded after the boat broke free from its mooring lines on Wednesday.

The Aurora Australis got into difficulties after a severe blizzard earlier this week.

According to the Australian Department of the Environment, the ship broke free from its mooring lines at 3.15pm local time and ran aground at West Arm in Horseshoe Harbour.

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Once the weather conditions had improved, a barge was sent to collect people from the ship, taking them to the nearby Mawson research station, the BBC reports.

The Antarctic Division kept the public up to date with the ships status on its Twitter page.
Even after the ship had broken free from its moorings it remained watertight and aground.

According to the Department of the Environment there were a total of 67 expeditioners and crew on board.

In a statement on their site they said: "Sustained winds of more than 130 km/h have been recorded on the Mawson station automatic weather station leading up to the time the Aurora Australis broke its mooring lines. Blizzard conditions are forecast to continue for the next 24 hours."
Weather conditions only improved in the early hours of this morning, allowing the transfer of those on board to begin.

The barge was able to transfer 15 expeditioners with each trip but the P&O Maritime crew who were onboard stayed on the boat in the hopes of moving it away from the rocks using the ballast system and work boats.

Just two hours ago the Antarctic Division confirmed that they had managed to refloat the Aurora Australis.

The ship left Hobart in Tasmania on 11 January this year and has been doing marine research around the Kerguelen Plateau.

Britain in the snow winter 2015/2016

Britain in the snow winter 2015/2016



See the Antarctic Blizzards That Hamper Icebreaker Rescues