Update: Ship Grounded in Antarctica, 122 Rescued

December 5, 2008

Update: Eighty-nine passengers and 33 crewmembers of the Argentine cruise ship, named Ushuaia, which ran aground yesterday, were rescued, according to the Associated Press. Reports conflict as to which vessel helped people to safety. Everyone is reported to be in good health and no injuries were sustained. The grounded ship was punctured in two of its diesel fuel tanks, and it's believed that only a small amount of leakage occurred before water flooded and sealed the tank.

According to Argentine Navy officials, the ship became stuck on rocks in the Antarctic Peninsula, but the cause of the grounding has yet to be determined. Jorge Aldegheri has served as the captain of Ushuaia for six years.

An Argentine cruise ship, named Ushuaia, ran aground on the Antarctic Peninsula, according to reports by Bloomberg and Reuters. No one was injured, and the ship is not in danger of sinking.

The 122-passenger vessel, part of Ushuaia-based Antarpply Expeditions, ran aground about 186 miles southwest of Argentina's military base in Antarctica, but no explanation has been given for the grounding. The ship is taking on water and leaking fuel. Nearby passenger ships and military vessels are coming to aid the stranded ship.

As cruise tourism to Antarctica rises, incidents such as this one are becoming more common. Last winter, both G.A.P. Adventures' M/S Explorer and Hurtigruten's Fram hit icebergs, and M/S Explorer actually sank. When considering a cruise to the southernmost waters of the earth, travelers should not only take into account the potential danger they might be in, but also the environmental impact of leaked fuel and other ship wreckage should a ship run into trouble.

We'll keep you posted on the rescue of the passengers onboard Ushuaia.

--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor and additional reporting by Kim Kazell, Assistant Editor

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