Thursday, December 18, 2008
The Chilean Navy said Wednesday that a British Navy ice patrol ship that lost engine power at the eastern mouth of the Strait of Magellan on the southern tip of South America is now safely anchored. Navy spokesman Capt. Allan Nettle said that 10 civilians aboard the HMS Endurance were evacuated by helicopter early Wednesday the 128 crew members on board "are not in danger." The passengers were transferred to a nearby lighthouse while at least one Chilean tugboat and a Norwegian cruise ship sailed to help the idled vessel.
HMS Endurance (AV 171)The British military said in a statement that a flood in the engine room affected the ship's power. The statement added that the flooding had been contained and confirmed the ship was being held by its own anchor. But the Chilean Navy said a second flooding occurred early Wednesday and it was being contained. A Chilean tugboat was preparing to tow the Endurance to Punta Arenas, Chile's southernmost city, if necessary. The ship's mission is to patrol and survey the Antarctic and South Atlantic.