Australian icebreaker runs aground in Antarctica

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 24, 2016 5:50 PM

(Reuters) - Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis has run aground in Antarctica while on a mission to resupply Mawson Station.

The ship broke free of its moorings during a blizzard on Wednesday morning, according to a statement from the Australian Antarctic Division.

None of the 67 expeditioners and crew on board on the ship, owned by P&O Maritime Services, were injured. The ship remains watertight, but poor weather has hampered a full assessment of the damage.

Winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour (80 miles per hour) were recorded by the automatic weather station at Mawson Station during the blizzard.

The Aurora Australis departed Hobart in early January to conduct research on the Kerguelen Plateau, an undersea geological formation. It arrived at Mawson on Saturday.

Ships traveling to and from Antarctica often face risky conditions. The Aurora Australis itself came to the rescue of Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy and its 52 crew in 2014.

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook)