On February 13, a US Coast Guard crew was on scene with the 207-foot fishing vessel that ran into trouble approximately 900 miles northeast of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.
After traveling more than 430 miles, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star has reached the crew of the Australian-flagged fishing vessel, Antarctic Chieftain, who contacted Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand Tuesday evening for assistance after becoming trapped in the Antarctic ice. The crew of the 40-year-old cutter has reported snowy conditions at times as well as large icebergs along their course to reach the vessel.
Polar Star’s crew broke the ice around the Antarctic Chieftain and afterwards they lowered a remotely operated vehicle into the water for a better look at the Antarctic Chieftain’s damaged propeller blades. The fishing vessel suffered damage to three of its four propeller blades when it became stuck in the ice and has lost its ability to maneuver.
After a damage assessment, the vessel was to be freed from the ice, and then escorted or towed to the nearest safe harbor by the New Zealand-flagged fishing vessel Janas.