Sunday, November 25, 2007

First batch of Antarctic shipwreck survivors arrive in S Chile, Posted by Robert Paisola

Photos of Abandoned Lifeboats, Courtesy US Military

Latest News Update as of 2007-11-25 10:25:23 , Posted by Robert Paisola

About half of the more than 150 passengers and crew who survived the shipwreck of a cruise ship in Antarctica arrived in southern Chile on Saturday, local media reported.

Seventy-seven people, who were on board the Ms Explorer when the cruise liner struck ice and sank off King George Island in Antarctic seas on Friday, arrived at Punta Arenas in southern Chile by a Chilean air force plane.

The plane, Hercules, was due to set off again to ferry the remainder of those rescued. The cruiser, owned by Canadian travel company G.A.P. Adventure and built in 1969, offered tours around Antarctica at a cost of about 8,000 U.S. dollars per cabin. It sank hours after hitting the ice.

With 91 vacationers from Argentina, Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United States and elsewhere, 54 crew members and nine other employees on board, the cruiser was a week away from completing a 19-day trip.

All the people aboard were evacuated by life rafts and were plucked up by a Norwegian cruise hours later.

They spent the night at two military bases on King George Island for flights out.

The G.A.P. company said earlier it was making arrangements to send the passengers to their respective homes.

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