Australian icebreaker runs aground in Antarctica during blizzard

Large icebreaker was blown of course during 130km/h winds

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The Independent Online

An Australian icebreaker ship has run aground in Antarctica after it broke free from its mooring lines during a blizzard. 

The icebreaker was on its way to take a team of marine scientists to Kerguelen Plateau, a large oceanic plateau north of Antarctica, before 130km/h winds took it off course. 

The ship is currently aground near Mawson research station, where it had stopped off for supplies. 

Reports from the Australian Antarctic Division confirm that all of the 68 on board are safe, and that the ship remains watertight with no risk of fuel leaking into the Antarctic. 

The expeditioners on board will be transferred to Mawson research station when weather conditions allow, and the crew will attempt to re-float the vessel for an assessment.

Researchers who were waiting at Davis research station to be transferred home by the icebreaker will instead be transferred to Casey research station by a US aircraft before being flown back to Australia on Australian Antarctic Division aircraft. 

Transfer will take place when winds have dropped below 55 kmph.