Update: Ocean Nova Passengers Rescued

February 18, 2009
Quark Expedition's Ocean Nova (2:43 p.m. EST) -- Update: Ocean Nova remains grounded, and the next attempt to free the ship will be at 11 p.m. local time. All cruise guests have safely transferred to Clipper Adventurer, where they will participate in regular cruise activities before the ship begins its journey back to Ushuaia. A preliminary inspection of Ocean Nova has revealed no damage or leaks, but a more thorough inspection of the hull will be conducted once the ship is freed.

(1:19 p.m. EST) -- The crew of Quark Expeditions' Ocean Nova -- which got lodged in some rocks in Marguerite Bay, Antarctica, on Tuesday -- was not successful at freeing the ship at high tide last night, according to a company statement. If the next attempt at noon local time also fails, all passengers will be transferred to Quark's Clipper Adventurer, which will return them to Ushuaia, Argentina.

All passengers onboard remain safe, and passengers were able to contact family members last night. A Spanish naval vessel, Hesperides, is on hand to assist, and if Ocean Nova is successfully freed, divers from Hesperides will inspect the hull.

Quark Expeditions "does not anticipate any environmental impact" from this incident. No oil leaks have been detected.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor

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