Aurora Australis within helicopter range of injured expeditioner

The Aurora Australis in sea ice
Heavy sea ice is slowing efforts to get support personnel from the Aurora Australis to Davis station. (Photo: Doug Thost)

30 October 2008, 11.00 am

The Australian Antarctic research and resupply ship Aurora Australis is within helicopter range of Davis station and is waiting for suitable weather to fly a doctor and lay medical staff into the station to assist with the medical care of an injured expeditioner.

Weather conditions this morning have prevented helicopter operations but the forecast is for better conditions later this afternoon.

The ship 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.

From its present location, a helicopter flight from the ship to the station takes about two hours. The Aurora Australis is approximately 230 nautical miles from Davis and continues to make progress towards the station.

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