1 October, 2018

A medical evacuation from the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station was successfully completed this weekend. The evacuation was a precautionary measure in order for the patient to be assessed in hospital in Chile.

A Twin Otter that supports the Chilean Antarctic programme landed at Rothera on Saturday morning and transported a member of BAS staff to Chile’s Frei Station on King George Island, where a Hercules aircraft was waiting to transfer to Punta Arenas (Chile). Colleagues from the Argentine Antarctic programme were on alert to help if required.

Twin Otter supporting Chilean Antarctic Programme lands at Rothera for first leg of medical evacuation to Chile. Credit: Ben Clark

The Hercules arrived in Punta Arenas on Saturday evening.

It is currently winter in Antarctica. Normally, flights in and out of Rothera Research Station do not take place between February and October due to the extreme cold and darkness. The BAS aircraft fleet, currently undergoing maintenance in Canada, will soon head south for the start of the Antarctic field season, arriving at Rothera in mid-October.

BAS Director Prof Dame Jane Francis said:

“We are extremely grateful to our Chilean and Argentine colleagues for their assistance and cooperation with this medical evacuation at such short notice.

“The team at Rothera has done an outstanding job over the last week contributing to the success of this medevac. The fact that everything went to plan is testament to their preparation and professionalism.”

Rothera Research Station in Antarctica