Saturday, January 28, 2012

Norwegian Jarle Andhoey Making Unsanctioned Yacht Trip to Antarctic

Norwegian Jarle Andhoey is heading to the Antarctic without the approval of the New Zealand authorities, who actually tried to stop him until he reached international waters.  It is perhaps understandable that he thinks going without permission is not illegal.  However, the real problem does come down to legality, but common sense.  He already has been known to have gone to Antarctica with poor planning leading to the support Berserk II yacht sinking while he was on the continent with a companion.  He has already been criticized for having to be rescued then.

Maybe, going once unprepared can be understandable, as everyone makes mistakes, but it appears he is doing it again and has not learned much from the disaster last year.  He is going out of grief with clear intentions of trying to figure out what happened to the Berserk II, but it seems he is not any more prepared than last time and perhaps worse so with the reports of him unknowingly ending up with an extra crew member (see this story).

The Antarctic is harsh even for well-prepared expeditions.  There is already a lot of controversy of fishing in the Antarctic and the rescues occurring this season (Sparta and Jung Woo 2).  I for one would at least think Jarle Andhoey would be taking greater precautions not just based on his personal experience with tragedy in the Antarctic, but also with these very recent major incidents.  Lets just hope his voyage does not get added to the Ship Accidents section of the Antarctic Wiki.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Felicity Ashton

On Monday, January 23, 2012, Felicity Aston became the first women to successfully ski across Antarctica solo. She was also the first person to ski solo across the continent using only using muscle power (i.e. no kites or machines used to help).

Felicity Aston's journey across Antarctica began on November 25, 2012 from Leverett Glacier with her pulling two sledges.  By the time her journey ended on January 23, 2012 at the Hercules Inlet, she had skied 1,744 kilometers in 59 days.  Her only assistance was prearranged drops of supplies at the South Pole and on the way between the pole and Hercules Inlet.  The supply drops allowed her to have to pull less.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Fishing Vessel Fire in Antarctic: 3 dead, 37 rescued

The Jung Woo 2 fishing vessel had a fire break out in the living quarters on January 10, 2012.  25 of the men initially evacuated to a life boat while the other 12 survivors had to wait for help because the fire affected the other life boat.  3 of the 40 crew died on board due to the fire and the remains were not evacuated.  Nearby fishing vessels including the sister ship Jung Woo 3 came to help and the crew was safely aboard other ships within 3 hours.

The Nathaniel Palmer research vessel with its medical facilities arrived on January 11, 2012 to take the injured survivors to McMurdo Base.  From the base the seven men that suffered burns were airlifted to Christchurch, New Zealand on January 13, 2012 after weather delayed any earlier of a medical evacuation.   Three of the men are said to be in serious condition.

Every summer season in the Antarctic there are news of medical evacuations and ships in distress of various incidents.  Usually it is more related to research and support staff with some tourist and fishing vessels thrown in as well.  Just a few weeks ago there was the long drawn out Sparta incident involving the fishing vessel being damaged and stuck in pack ice.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Damaged Sea Shepherd Vessel Done for Season

One of the Sea Shepherd's vessels, the Brigitte Bardot, was damaged by rough seas.  The Steve Irwin escorted it back to port where it will undergo repairs for about 3 months.  Thus the boat is done for this season of Whale Wars, but the Steve Irwin will rejoin the Bob Barker after refueling and resupplying.  The Bob Barker has remained near the Japanese whaling fleet while the Steve Irwin and Brigitte Bardot returned to port.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wild Antarctica 3D Begins Production

A new Antarctic documentary has begun production with a National Geographic film crew traveling from Ushuaia on the Pelagic Australis sailboat.   The new film will be made in 3D and will be called Wild Antarctica 3D.  The filming expedition is expected to visit Deception Island, the Gerlache Strait, the Argentine Islands, the United States' Palmer Station, and a rendezvous with the National Geographic Explorer.

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