Ill worker rescued from reseach station in Antarctica now in a hospital in Australia

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian who fell ill while working at an Antarctic research station is now in a hospital in Australia after being rescued by an icebreaker, a government agency said Sunday.

The icebreaker RSV Nuyina’s round trip between the Australian Antarctic Division headquarters in Hobart, Tasmania state, and Australia’s Casey Station covered more than 6,500 kilometers (4,000 miles) and took more than two weeks as the Southern Hemisphere winter became spring.

“The RSV Nuyina has returned to Hobart after the successful medical evacuation of an unwell expeditioner from Casey research station,” a division statement said.

“The expeditioner has disembarked the RSV Nuyina and been transferred to the Royal Hobart Hospital, where they will receive specialist assessment and care,” the it added.

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

A helicopter evacuated the patient from the research station on an ice cap, flying him on Sept. 3 to the Nuyina, which was 144 kilometers (89 miles) away.

The icebreaker has a medical facility in which the patient was cared for by doctors and nurses from the Hobart hospital.

The icebreaker began its rescue mission from Hobart on Aug. 24 and returned on Sunday, the division said.

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

The icebreaker is preparing to return to the frozen continent for the summer season.