Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Rescued Antarctic passengers on dry land

22 January 2014, 07:12

Canberra - An expedition of 52 scientists and tourists arrived in Australia on Wednesday, setting foot on dry land for the first time since they were rescued from a ship trapped in Antarctic sea ice three weeks ago.

Arguments continue on who will foot the bill for the extraordinary rescue operation that involved the United States, China, France and Australia.

Expedition leader Chris Turney told reporters who greeted them in the port city of Hobart where they ended the final leg of their rescue journey aboard an Australian icebreaker that it was still not clear who would pay for their rescue.

Turney, a professor of climate change at Sydney's University of New South Wales, said lawyers and insurers were negotiating on the costs.

"I understand four nations helping is quite unusual. That's not our call....that's beyond our control," Turney said.

Discussing costs

Turney's expedition began on 28 November. They had been retracing an expedition a century ago by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson and comparing scientific measurement made then and now when their Russian icebreaker Akademik Shokalskiy became trapped in ice-clogged Commonwealth Bay on Christmas Eve.

Australian, French and Chinese icebreakers were directed by Australia's Rescue Co-ordination Centre to come to their rescue.

Under international conventions observed by most countries, ships' crews are obliged to take part in such rescues and the owners carry the costs.

A helicopter from the Chinese icebreaker was able to ferry the passengers from the Russian ship to the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis on 2 January. The following day, the Chinese ship reported it too was stuck in ice.

US Coast Guard heavy icebreaker, Polar Star, was sent from Sydney to rescue the Russian and Chinese ships, but both icebreakers were able to free themselves before the American cutter arrived.

The Australian ship continued its resupplying mission to Australia's Antarctic base, Casey Station, before returning to its home port, Hobart.

Australian Antarctic Division director Tony Fleming estimated the cost of the rescue to the Australian government was between $1.6m and $2.1m.

This did not include the costs to research projects scheduled to be conducted during the narrow window of the Antarctic summer. Some would have to be postponed because of the delay in scientific equipment and supplies arriving at Casey aboard the Australian ship.

Australia was discussing costs with both the insurers of the Russian ship and of the University of New South Wales which chartered it, Fleming said.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...