A seriously ill expeditioner has been successfully transferred by helicopter from Australia’s Davis station to the icebreaker Aurora Australis last night.

The Australian Antarctic Division’s Polar Medicine Unit said the transfer went smoothly and the man, a member of the trades team, is in a serious but stable condition in the ship’s medical facility.

The Aurora Australis is now once again heading back to Australia after being turned back to Davis last week to retrieve the ill man.

The Division’s Operations Manager, Robb Clifton, said it has been a mammoth effort.

“The team have been working through the weekend in very cold, below minus 10 degrees, and at times snowy conditions,” Mr Clifton said.

“Before the patient was transferred we did several test runs to make sure the operation went as smoothly as possible.”

The ship is now 120 nautical miles out of Davis, and has another 100 nautical miles of ice to navigate before reaching open ocean.

It is expected the voyage back will take about two weeks, with the ship returning around 4 April.

Updates will only be provided if there is any significant change in the situation.