New RSV Nuyina icebreaker heads south – Australia’s Antarctic Program (News 2021)

Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaker RSV Nuyina left Hobart this afternoon on his first trip south.

There are 67 expeditionaries and crew aboard for the five-week trip to supply Casey research station and transport helicopters to Davis station.

They will also undertake marine science commissioning, including testing of hull mounted acoustic instruments and drop keels, and deployment of the CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) sampler.

The CTD is the backbone of oceanographic research, measuring different properties of water at different depths of the Southern Ocean.

The ship’s “wet well”, a unique system for collecting krill and fragile marine organisms from water fed directly into the ship from the hull inlets, will also be tested.

RSV Nuyina was due to depart earlier in the week, but a problem with the vessel’s alarm and monitoring system software delayed her departure.

The operator of the vessel, Serco, has now rectified the electronic system to allow the safe operation of the vessel.

The ship will spend the next few days in Storm Bay, south of Hobart, testing refueling systems before heading to Casey’s research station.

This summer RSV Nuyina is supported by two other charter vessels in Antarctica to ensure that all required commissioning work can be undertaken.

Aiviq (Alaskan Inuit for “walrus”), currently in Hobart, is an American 110 meter icebreaker tug and supply vessel that provides additional icebreaking capacity and replenishes the station.

Happy dragon is a 157-meter heavy freighter flying the Dutch flag and reinforced against ice that will help resupply the Casey and Davis research stations this summer.

Happy dragon is currently approaching Casey with approximately 1,200 tonnes of supplies and equipment for resupply, and to deliver the new mobile indoor station for the Million Year Ice Core project.

The mission will be one of the largest annual station replenishments ever undertaken by the Australian Antarctic Program.


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