Thursday, 3 February 2011

IAATO: Update on Polar Star Incident

Source: IAATO


Polar Star Expeditions reports that the transfer of passengers from its MV Polar Star is proceeding with no problem, with 62 passengers now safely aboard two other IAATO vessels and returning to Ushuaia, Argentina. The remaining passengers are expected to transfer to a third IAATO ship this evening.

Earlier today, 42 passengers were transferred to the MV Marina Svetaeva, operated by One Ocean Expeditions of Edmonton, Canada. Twenty additional MV Polar Star passengers were transferred to the MV Ushuaia of Ushuaia-based Antarpply Expeditions.

Eight passengers will transfer this evening to the MV Expedition, operated by GAP Adventures of Toronto Canada. The remaining ten manifested passengers – who are actually comprised of MV Polar Star lecture and field staff – will stay aboard, along with the 35 crew members, for the return voyage to Ushuaia, once the final transfer to the MV Expedition takes place.

All three receiving vessels involved in the return of the MV Polar Star passengers – as well as the MV Polar Star itself – are expected to arrive in Ushuaia Sunday morning, February 6.

Martin Karlsen, president of Polar Star Expeditions, noted his gratitude to his colleagues at One Ocean Expeditions, Antarpply Expeditions and GAP Adventures for making arrangements to accommodate his guests. “We also greatly appreciate the kindness and cooperation of the passengers on the receiving ships for doubling up in cabins to make space available for the transfer of our passengers back to Ushuaia,” he added.
Karlsen stated that the support provided by the other companies is good evidence of the effectiveness of the IAATO contingency plan, one of the important facets of the association.