Aurora Australis still waiting for weather window to reach Davis

Aerial photo of orange Aurora Australis in pack ice.
Aurora Australis in the pack ice. (Photo: Sandra Zicus)

31 October 2008, 4.30 pm

Bad weather continues to thwart efforts to fly a doctor and lay medical staff into Davis station to assist with the medical care of an injured expeditioner.

The Australian Antarctic research and resupply ship Aurora Australis is within helicopter range of Davis but weather conditions are preventing helicopter operations.

The Aurora Australis has been battling heavy sea ice and bad weather conditions on its journey to Davis to relieve the medical team that has been caring for expeditioner Dwayne Rooke around the clock for more than a week.

Mr Rooke remains in a serious but stable condition and will continue to be cared for by doctors and lay medical staff at Davis station while the Australian Antarctic Division continues to investigate all options to evacuate him to specialist medical care.

The Aurora Australis is approximately 150 nautical miles from Davis and continues to make progress towards the station. From its present location, a helicopter flight from the ship to the station will take just over one hour.

Mr Rooke, 31, of Devonport, Tasmania, sustained multiple fractures after a quad bike accident on Monday 20 October.

He was on a field trip to Trajer Ridge, around 25 km from Davis when he came off the quad. He sustained serious injuries including multiple fractures and received medical treatment at the scene before being transported back to the station by Hägglunds overland vehicle.

Mr Rooke was due to return to Australia in mid-November after a 12-month stint in Antarctica as the chef at Davis station.

Please note that there will be no further updates on this website before Monday 3 November unless circumstances change.