Antarctica Cruise Vessel Runs Aground
All Passengers And Crew Safe
Argentine cruise ship the Ushuaia has run aground off the coast of Antarctica with 122 passengers and crew on board, including 5 Tucan Travel clients.
All 82 passengers and 40 crew members are in good health and the vessel is not in danger of sinking. Two Chilean naval vessels are en route to assist in the rescue and repatriation of the passengers and crew before attempts are made to refloat the MV Ushuaia.
Tucan Travel managing director Matt Gannan said he was pleased that despite the grounding, everyone on board was safe and well. “It is certainly good news that there have been no injuries and that there is no imminent danger to any of the passengers and crew on board. We have been in close contact with our cruise operator and owner of the MV Ushuaia, Antarpply, who in turn is working closely with the Chilean navy and other passenger ships nearby to make sure everyone gets home safe and sound. Their first priority is to ensure the safety of all passengers and we are confident that they are on top of the situation.”
“The plan at the moment is to transfer passengers from the MV Ushuaia to a Chilean naval vessel or passenger ship and on to King George Island, then fly passengers to Ushuaia in Argentina. We hope that we will get everyone back to Ushuaia by 6 December.”
The cause of the grounding is yet unknown. Antarpply have made arrangements to carry out safety checks on the MV Ushuaia when it arrives back in Ushuaia and further details will be released when results are available.
A small amount of fuel has leaked from the MV Ushuaia but contamination has been contained by oil spill barriers. It is expected that wind conditions will help to disperse any other oil spilled, minimising the environmental impact. The spill is being monitored by Argentine aircraft.
Antarpply have reported to Tucan Travel that it is doubtful whether the voyages scheduled for 8 December or 18 December will go ahead. Antarpply is working hard to place passengers on alternative ships for these departures in case the MV Ushuaia is unable to sail. Tucan Travel clients booked on these departures should monitor the Latest News on www.tucantravel.com for further updates.
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