Delayed Antarctic vessel sails

4 January 2004

An Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) voyage to Antarctica, detained in Hobart due to safety concerns, has now sailed on its resupply mission.

AAD acting director Kim Pitt said safety issues raised by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) about some aspects of the MV Vasiliy Golovnin had been rectified.

Mr Pitt said that repairs required to a life boat and related equipment had been completed and the ship had passed a follow-up AMSA survey.

“Safety is of the utmost importance to the Australian Antarctic Division and I am now confident all safety concerns have been fully addressed,” Mr Pitt said.

Vasiliy Golovnin has been chartered by the AAD from international shipping company FESCO – Far East Shipping Company – to resupply its three continental stations Casey, Davis and Mawson.

Mr Pitt said that the repairs had been completed more quickly than had been anticipated and the effect on the AAD’s program would be minimal.

“We are very grateful that the company pulled out all stops to get this work done quickly.”

The Vasiliy Golovnin has been chartered by the Australian Antarctic Division initially for one year as a trial to test the effectiveness of resupplying its three continental stations in a single voyage as opposed to separate voyages from Hobart to the stations.

This leaves the AAD’s flagship Aurora Australia more freely available during the middle of the season for marine science voyages.