The icebreaker ‘Aurora Australis’ was forced to return to Antarctica on Thursday, to evacuate a seriously ill Australian expedition member, just two days after leaving him on Davis Station to spend the winter in
The nature of the serious illness has not yet been released, officials have stated only that the illness is “non-contagious” and have not described it as an accident. The expedition member is described as being in “serious but stable condition.”
Icebreaker “Aurora Australis” will be forced to make her way as close as possible to Davis Station and deploy her helicopter, weather conditions permitting. If successful, the timing of the illness may be quite fortunate–the icebreaker had just departed and was within two days’ range; Antarctic research outpost Davis Station may have been virtually inaccessible over the next seven months of polar winter.