Fire on Australia's Antarctic resupply vessel leaves expeditioners shaken

An engine room fire that destroyed two vessels on board Australia’s Antarctic resupply ship has left expeditioners shaken as they begin their journey home.

The vessel, the MPV Everest, was in the middle of the Southern Ocean, four days into a two-week journey, when the ship’s portside engine room caught alight around 2pm on Monday.

The room was quickly isolated to contain the fire before it was extinguished by suppression systems.

Two vessels on the deck were also destroyed but the ship’s alternate engine room has it running at full capacity.

모두 109 people aboard were uninjured but many were shaken, Australian Antarctic Division psychologist Maree Riley said.

일부 72 expeditioners are on the vessel, some who’ve been in 남극 for a year and a half.

Riley said the incident could be traumatic for some, especially after a “challenging” extended season.

“When you think about the situation that expeditioners have been exposed to, they are a resilient group of people but this has been a challenging situation for them – potentially traumatic,” Riley told reporters on Tuesday.

“As you can appreciate, some people have been shaken by this.”

The Division’s general manager of operations and safety, Charlton Clark, said the remainder of the voyage will likely not be easy either.

With the Southern Ocean an often unpredictable and challenging environment and unfavourable conditions on the way, there’s still some way to go to get the crew and the expeditioners home safely.

“A fire on board any vessel in the Southern Ocean is a very serious event; the crew and the expeditioners responded remarkably to get the situation under control,”그는 말했다.

“We know there is challenging weather ahead and the ship’s crew are doing all they can to minimise any impact of weather that’s on its way.”

The cause of the blaze will be examined by the ship’s owners, and regulatory authorities if required.

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