Rescue Underway for Polar Expeditioner

Evacuation attempts are rare in winter

Caty Enders

An Australian rescue team is headed to McMurdo Station in Antarctica to evacuate an unidentified American expeditioner in need of medical attention in the dead of the polar winter. An A319 Airbus carrying a specialist medical team has been dispatched to Christchurch, New Zealand, where it is awaiting favorable weather and light before departing for McMurdo Sound. The station has one of the few runways in Antarctica that can accomodate aircraft with wheels, a McMurdo spokesperson said. Medical evacuations are rare in Antarctica, particularly in winter, when a pilot will have to rely on “some twilight at midday” for visibility during landing.