Australia Support vessel for fire-hit Antarctic ship
Antarctic supply ship MPV Everest limps into WA port after fire
Australia's temporary Antarctic resupply vessel arrives in Fremantle, Western Australia, having changed course last week after a fire broke out on board. The MPV Everest was about five days into an expected two-week voyage when a fire broke out in the port engine room last Monday, destroying two inflatable rubber boats stored on deck.None of the 109 people onboard — which includes about 70 expeditioners — were injured.The icebreaker, which had been in the Southern Ocean when the fire broke out, was able to continue travelling north using its starboard engine room.
A support ship will be sent to rendezvous with Australia's fire-damaged Antarctic resupply vessel which is trying to dodge bad weather at sea.
The MPV Everest's port side engine room was engulfed by flames on Monday afternoon during its journey home after stops at research stations in the frozen continent's east.
The chartered ship is heading to Fremantle in Western Australia, the closest port, with the Australian Antarctic Division deciding to send a support vessel to meet the ship.
Egypt's Sisi promises investment to avoid Suez closure repeat
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi promised Tuesday that his country would buy equipment to avoid any repetition of the past week's closure of the Suez Canal as he visited Ismailia, en route to the vital trade artery. "We will acquire all the necessary equipment for the canal," to avoid similar incidents, Sisi declared during his visit to Ismailia, home to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA). Egyptian authorities have presented the freeing of the mega-ship on Monday as a vindication of the country's engineering and salvage capabilities.
"The Everest is not in distress however we think it is prudent to send an additional vessel," AAD operations manager Charlton Clark told reporters on Thursday.
"For the people on board, they've been through a very stressful situation.
"Having a vessel on the horizon will hopefully provide some reassurance to them that they're getting closer to home and there's some help there should it be required."
None of the 109 people onboard, including 72 expeditioners, were injured in the fire which destroyed two six-metre inflatable boats on deck.
Video: Suez Canal shipping backlog ends, days after giant vessel freed (Reuters)
The ship is travelling at about 10 knots, two below its usual cruising speed, and is expected to reach Fremantle in the middle of next week.
Prepare for the big freeze: Australians facing coldest day of the year
The cold front moved in over Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia on Saturday, bringing icy conditions, low-level snow, heavy swells and the first frost of the year. Melbourne on Sunday woke to its coldest morning since October 20 last year according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with the mercury dipping to 8.3C. The Victorian capital is only expected to reach a high of 15C on Sunday, while Hobart will peak at 13C, making it the coldest day of 2021 for both cities, although the wind chill is making it feel even more wintry. 'It is the coldest day of the year so far.
Mr Clark said the ship is taking a more northerly route to avoid upcoming weather quite frequent in the region.
"The Southern Ocean is always a challenging environment to operate in. It sees big seas and strong winds," he said.
It will take some days for a support vessel to arrive, with two boats currently being assessed in Western Australia for their capabilities.
A maintenance issue with the Everest's starboard generator, which provides propulsion, was rectified on Wednesday.
The generator was shut down for an hour, with ship then continuing under its own power.
Mr Clark revealed there had been a small fire in the Everest's battery storage area in February which was put out by hand extinguishers.
He said the crew responded "very well" to this week's blaze, which is being investigated by the ship's owners and regulatory authorities.
The Everest was chartered as Australia's Antarctic resupply vessel this summer after delays in the construction and testing of the new $529 million icebreaker RSV Nuyina.
Suez Canal shipping backlog to end on Saturday: Canal authority .
Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority said 85 ships expected to pass the canal from both sides on Saturday.Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), said 85 ships were expected to pass the canal from both sides on Saturday.