Helicopter being loaded onto the Happy Diamond

Helicopters headed for Antarctica aboard the Happy Diamond

Photo: Sean McComish, Dave Lomas, Matt OrbellAustralia Antarctic Division

The Australian Antarctic Division has set sail for Antarctica to deliver cargo including two helicopters to the Davis research station.

The Australian Antarctic Division is a division of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, which leads Australia’s Antarctic Program. Yesterday, they set sail from Hobart, in Tasmania, for the Davis research station in Antarctica, approximately 4,838 kilometres away.

This is the Australian Antarctic Division’s third voyage to Davis. The 11 expeditioners and crew of 19 are travelling aboard BigLift’s Happy Diamond, a general cargo ship built in 2011, sailing under the flag of the Netherlands. The vessel measures 157 metres in length and 26 metres in width. It has a gross tonnage of 14,784 metric tonnes.

Despite the Happy Diamond being ice-strengthened, the vessel is also assisted in its journey by the ABS A3 ice class icebreaker Aiviq. This anchor-handling tug supply vessel (AHTS) is named after the word for walrus in Inupiat, a language spoken by indigenous populations of northern Alaska. This American vessel measures 110 metres in length and 24.4 metres in width and has a gross tonnage of 12,892 metric tonnes.

Author: Emma Dailey

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