Friday, 13 April 2012

Atlantic Odyssey voyage onboard Plancius interrupted in South Georgia

Vlissingen , 13 April 2012 | 12:32 CET

Reduced propulsion power of m/v Plancius interrupts Atlantic Odyssey voyage All passengers and crew are safe and sound The Atlantic Odyssey voyage onboard m/v Plancius is interrupted since 09 April 2012 due to the vessel experiencing an incapacitation caused by mechanical dysfunction of the main propulsion system causing a reduced propulsion power. The ship is sheltered in safe position resting alongside the jetty of King Edward Point Research Station in Grytviken/Cumberland East Bay/South Georgia (54°17′S, 36°30′W).
Passengers, crew and expedition staff are safe. There is no threat to life or the environment The spirit on board is - given the circumstances - good and passengers indulge in local walks and excursion program organized by expedition staff.

Oceanwide Expeditions takes precautions in the sake of passenger safety As a result of the propulsion failure the ship has only very limited sailing capabilities ( maximum 4- 5 knots in calm conditions), which means the vessel will not be able maintain course in rough seas of the open ocean. The original ship ´s voyage was aimed at crossing the Atlantic (embarkation of passengers took place in Ushuaia on 29 March, disembarkation of passengers was planned at Praia/ Cape Verdes on 05 May). The weather forecast is unpredictable due to approaching winter period. Oceanwide Expeditions decided to take precautions and cancel the crossing of the Atlantic based on mission to operate safe and environmentally responsible travel. It is planned that all 73 passengers, some crew members (from 35 nautical and hotel), 6 expedition staff and 1 medical doctor will be repatriated onboard chartered passenger vessel m/v Ushuaia which will sail to Grytviken, South Georgia from Mar del Plata, Argentina, departing on Friday 13 April at 12.00 hours, arriving in South Georgia on 18 April, approx 12.00 hours local time. It is expected that the vessel can depart from South Georgia the same day with all passengers, including expedition and hotel staff. The vessel is scheduled to arrive in Montevideo, Uruguay on 24 April for disembarkation and connecting travel arrangements .

Next-of-kin of passengers have been informed directly or via their booking agents by Oceanwide Expeditions. M/v Plancius will have to be towed with support of a tug boat from South Georgia. This tug boat will arrive in South Georgia in the afternoon of 17 April. IAATO ( International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators), Class (Lloyds register) , flag state (The Netherlands), South Georgia Government and National Authority in the Netherlands have received status reports respectively.

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