The saga just keeps going. The Chinese Icebreaker is now also stuck, and has asked for help so the Aurora Australis with 52 extra passengers rescued from the Russian Charter boat have to stay nearby to help. Twenty two Russian sailors are still trapped on board the Russian boat — the Akademik Sholaskiy. Plus other scientists in Antarctica still don’t have their equipment. Costs for everyone involved are continuing to rise. Though there is a free-for-all on social media…
But seriously, trom The Australian by Graham Lloyd:
TAXPAYERS will foot a $400,000 bill for the rescue of a group of climate scientists, tourists and journalists from a stranded Russian research vessel – an operation that has blown the contingency budget of Australia’s Antarctic program and disrupted its scientific work.
The Antarctic Division in Hobart said it was revising plans and considering airlifting urgently needed scientific equipment that could not be unloaded from Aurora Australis before the ship was diverted from the Casey base to rescue the novice ice explorers just before Christmas.
The climate scientists and passengers aren’t free yet, their boat is waiting around to help the Chinese icebreaker.
The rescue bill continued to mount yesterday as the return of the Aurora Australis to Casey base was delayed after the Chinese vessel Xue Long notified rescue authorities it had concerns about its ability to move back into open water due to heavy ice.
The Australian icebreaker was put on standby late yesterday and ordered to remain in open water as a precautionary measure.
As usual, under the Treaty of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), ships must respond to a distress message, and the costs are a “matter for the ship owners after the event… These can include fuel costs, crew costs and loss of revenue.” SMH.
Ultimately the costs could be millions:
In a debriefing on the rescue mission yesterday, Australian Maritime Safety Authority general manager John Young said the ships involved in the rescue would each be responsible for their own costs.
The costs, which would run to millions of dollars, could ultimately result in legal action between the ships’ insurance companies and the owners of the stranded Russian research vessel that sparked the rescue.
I wonder what the fine print says on the agreement between the Australasian Antarctic Expedition and the Russian Charter boat?
Meanwhile the silliest things are popping up:
It had to happen: Hitler gets stuck in the ice too… (great intro 😀 ) h/t Janama
UPDATE: Another one, We’re all going on a polar holiday
Could the Queen not rush through a knighthood for Chris Turney for services to global warming scepticism? #spiritofmawson
— Jaime Jessop (@Balinteractive) January 2, 2014