The Antarctic multi purpose resupply vessel MPV Everest and offshore tug GO Spica have arrived in Australia’s port of Freemantle in Western Australia
The ship was five days into a 14 day voyage when a fire started on 5 April 2021 as the ship was en route from Mawson Station in the Australian Antarctic Territory to Hobart.
Fire engulfed the port engineroom and two inflatable rubber boats on deck, however no physical injuries were reported among the 109 expeditioners and crew members on board.
Everest was originally heading to Hobart, but the Australian Antarctic Division’s general manager of operations Charlton Clark said the ship’s captain decided to head to Freemantle as the nearest port.
As a precautionary measure, the ship’s owner Maritime Construction Services then deployed 76-m GO Spica – a large offshore tug – to accompany the resupply vessel. GO Spica met Everest a day ahead of its arrival in Freemantle port.
Everest had just completed a two-month voyage to Antarctica, resupplying and changing over personnel at Australia’s Davis and Mawson research stations.
The incident is being investigated by the ship’s owner Maritime Safety Authority and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
The Australian Anatarctic Program said Everest’s safe return “marks the end of a successful and challenging Antarctic season for 2020-21, to keep Australian research stations operating and free of coronavirus for another year.”
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