Wednesday, February 23, 2011


UPDATE February 23, 2011, 1945 EST. The SSCS MS Steve Irwin has reported to NZRCC the finding of a liferaft empty of people or supplies. It is possible that this may be one of three liferafts lost overboard in the recent heavy weather by HMNZS Wellington (P55). Readers may recall that NAUTICAL LOG remarked that three raft capsules appeared to of a different make in the starboard side rack forward of the funnel/stack visible in the photo from Dunedin, NZ. There were no numbers or marks on the raft which seems rather strange if it is from a naval vessel, the Royal New Zealand Navy should clarify that as soon as possible. The raft is reported to be black which is also unusual as they are normally have an International Orange canopy. The MS Steve Irwin was able to recover the raft which may well help with its identification. As of yet there is no report of or from the SY Berserk however a helicopter search is underway.

The New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) is asking vessels to assist in the search for the SY Berserk whose EPIRB was activated. The HMNZS Wellington (P55) responded and the MS Steve Irwin was asked to assist, however there is no word from the ice strengthened MS Bob Barker the other SSCS vessel capable of assisting. Today the EPIRB was not picked up and may have stopped working. The 14 metre steel hulled Norwegian yacht was last heard near Scott Base, Ross Island in McMurdo Sound some 200 miles from the MS Steve Irwin. The weather conditions are not good but the weather is improving with the storm easing somewhat. The MS Steve Irwin is hoping to launch its helicopter to extend the search range should flying conditions improve the pilot Chris Aultman is highly experienced in flying the Antarctic region.

Good Watch.

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