Chilean Warship Collects Bulgarian Antarctic Researchers from Livingston Island Base

Антарктида - БАИ - полярници
Photo: БТА
Chilean Warship Collects Bulgarian Antarctic Researchers from Livingston Island Base

April 8 (BTA) - Six Bulgarian Antarctic researchers were
collected by the ship "Lautaro" from the Bulgarian base on
Livingston Island in the South Shetlands, the leader of the
expedition, Prof. Hristo Pimpirev, reported on Thursday, quoted
by the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute in a press release. The
emergency arrangements had to be made after newly detected
COVID-19 cases among the crew of the Chilean icebreaker
"Achilles", which was supposed to fetch the researchers,
prevented the ship from leaving for Antarctica on Thursday, and
the six Bulgarians faced the prospect of being stranded on the
island in harsh weather conditions and with limited food
supplies.

The six-strong 29th Bulgarian Antarctic expedition, which had to
 be downsized due to the pandemic, spent over a month at the St
Kliment Ohridski base. They took year-round measurement readings
 relevant to the state of the environment, seismic and tidal
events, recharged the equipment for the next season and repaired
 damage caused by the extreme weather on the buildings and the
equipment in the base and conserved it for next year.

The small Chilean warship was the only vessel in the area, and
she agreed to change its schedule and take the six on board late
 at night after negotiations between Prof. Pimpirev and the
chief of logistis at the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH).

The "Lautaro" will transport the Bulgarians to the Professor
Julio Escudero Base on the neighbouring King George Island,
where they will wait for a Uruguayan Hercules military transport
 plane to take them to Punta Arenas by its flight scheduled for
April 12.

"Thanks to the swift reaction of the Chilean and Uruguayan
friends, the six Bulgarian researchers were spared the need to
spend an undefinite period of time without food and fuel at the
winterized base on Livingston Island, alone amidst the coming
Antarctic winter," the press release says. NV/LG


//

Source: Sofia