Sydney - A helicopter carrying Australian researchers had
to make an emergency landing in Antarctica, injuring the pilot and two
passengers who are stranded awaiting rescue with another crew, officials said on
The chopper, chartered by the Australian Antarctic
Division (AAD), went down 150 nautical miles from Davis Station on Sunday night
as it returned from a penguin colony surveillance mission near the Amery ice
"The pilot and two passengers were injured in the
incident," the government's AAD said in a statement.
"The helicopter was travelling in tandem with a
second helicopter which immediately set down and assisted the injured."
The second helicopter's pilot and passenger were caring
for the injured while a recovery and medical support mission was being
scrambled, it added.
The exact nature of their injuries or what prompted the
emergency landing were unclear.
"Reports from the incident site are that all are
warm and safe and that communication is being maintained with Davis
station," the AAD said.
"The Australian Antarctic Division is currently
looking at aircraft assets in the immediate area and weather patterns as it
organises a recovery operation."
Australia has three Antarctic bases - Davis, Casey and
Mawson - as well as a sub-Antarctic station at Macquarie Island.
Its annual scientific mission to the icy continent for
this Antarctic summer, which typically runs through to April, set off from
Hobart in October.
Penguins are a major focus of this year's expedition,
with a team exploring the historical feeding habits of Adelie penguins in the
Davis region and the implications for fisheries management.