The Australian Antarctic Division is responding to an incident involving the Aurora Australis, which is currently at Mawson station undertaking resupply.

The Aurora Australis broke free of its mooring lines at 3:15pm AEDT (9:15am Mawson time) during a blizzard. The ship is currently aground at West Arm in Horseshoe Harbour.

A total of 67 expeditioners and crew are on board, and all are safe and well.

The ship remains watertight, with no damage to the hull of the vessel. Current blizzard conditions are hampering a full assessment of the damage, and the crew are closely monitoring the hull from inside the ship.

Sustained winds of more than 130km/h have been recorded on the Mawson station automatic weather station leading up to the time the Aurora Australis broke its mooring lines. Blizzard conditions are forecast to continue for the next 24 hours.

The Australian Antarctic Division is working closely with P&O Maritime Services, owners of the Aurora Australis, to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew as a priority.

The Aurora Australis departed Hobart on 11 January 2016 and has been undertaking marine science around the Kerguelen Plateau region. It arrived at Mawson for resupply on Saturday (20 February 2016).

Further information will be released as it becomes available.