3:30PM UPDATE: Medical evacuation at Australian Antarctic station

Looking over the bow of the ship Aurora Australis at the pack ice
View from the bridge deck of the Aurora Australis in the pack ice (Photo: Mike Zupanc)

Australia’s icebreaker Aurora Australis has made good progress through sea ice reaching Davis station this afternoon in its mission to retrieve a seriously ill Antarctic expeditioner.

The Australian Antarctic Division’s Operations Manager Mr Robb Clifton said today that it was hoped that the ship’s fuel tanks could be topped up and the sick man taken aboard over the next 48 hours.

If weather conditions allow – and the forecast is currently favourable – it is hoped the ship can begin its journey back to Hobart sometime on Monday.

It will then take about two weeks to reach Hobart.

Meanwhile the expeditioner remains in a stable condition and is receiving ongoing treatment from the station doctor and the Division’s Polar Medicine Unit.

The Australian Antarctic Division has rescheduled its final voyage of the season to Macquarie Island, which was due to depart Hobart on April 2. This will now not leave until April 5 at the earliest.

Over the weekend one update will be provided each day at around 3:00PM.