The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
Antarctica Davis Helicopter Incident
3 December 2013
I commend the Australian Antarctic Division on their speedy and successful response to the helicopter incident near Davis station, Antarctica, yesterday.
Three expeditioners were injured on Sunday evening when their helicopter crashed when returning from a scientific mission around 150 nautical miles from Davis station.
All expeditioners are in a stable condition and are safely back at Davis station undergoing medical assessment. The Australian Antarctic Division Polar Medicine Unit at Kingston, Tasmania, is also providing support.
I congratulate the work of the rescuers. Their quick thinking and precise planning ensured that all the injured were cared for and kept safe during the ordeal.
The accident is a reminder of the challenges facing scientists working in this environment.
The helicopter crashed when returning from a scientific mission to survey a penguin colony near the Amery Ice Shelf. A second helicopter travelling in tandem was able to safely land and provide support and care for the injured.
The rescue mission from Davis station had a small window of clear weather on Monday evening to travel to the crash site to pick up the injured passengers and return them to Davis station.
The Australian Antarctic Division was outstanding throughout the whole operation and I commend their efforts in keeping the injured passengers on the helicopter safe.