Australian icebreaker heads to Antarctic station to rescue expeditioner suffering medical condition

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An icebreaker is on its way from Australia to an Antarctic research station to rescue an expeditioner suffering from a medical condition, the government said on Saturday.

The expeditioner is at Australia’s Casey Research Station which is on an ice cap 3,420 kilometers (2,125 miles) south of the Australian Antarctic Division headquarters in Hobart, Tasmania state.

The division has not identified the person or specified the medical condition.

“The expeditioner requires specialist medical assessment and care in Australia for a developing medical condition,” the division said in a statement.

Australian icebreaker RSV Nuyina left Hobart last week on the rescue mission which is taking place at the start of the Southern Hemisphere spring season, the statement said.

The ship is carrying helicopters to be used in the evacuation, the division said.

The division did not reply after The AP asked when the evacuation was expected to take place,

During the summer, more than 150 expeditioners visit the Casey research station. But over winter, fewer than 20 remain to perform maintenance work.

The division said all other personnel at Casey were “accounted for and safe.”