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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Expedition Ship Plancius Encounters Engine Troubles.

The second mishap this week was the expedition vessel Plancius which developed engine issues which only allowed the ship to operate at significantly reduced speeds.

Report indicate that the expedition ship Ushuaia has been chartered to rendezvous with the Plancius and transfer her passenger. The Plancius is reported docked at the King Edward Point Research Station in South Georgia’s Grytviken, Cumberland East Bay.

Ushuaia is scheduled to arrive April 18 to collect the passengers, expedition and hotel staff from Plancius and transport them to Montevideo, Uruguay, arriving April 24. It is planned that all 73 passengers, 35 crew from nautical and hotel, six expedition staff and one doctor will transfer to the Ushuaia, which sailed from Argentina’s Mar del Plata on Friday.

Oceanwide Expeditions (operators of the Plancius), state, ‘Passengers, crew and expedition staff are safe. There is no threat to life or the environment."

There is also a tug en-route scheduled to arrive on April 17 to tow the Plancius to an unidentified port for repairs.

Plancius operated as the oceanographic vessel Hr. Ms. Tydeman for the Dutch Royal Navy from 1976-2004. The ship was eventually acquired by Oceanwide Expeditions and rebuilt in 2009 as a passenger vessel capable of carrying 114-passengers. The ship is classified for sailing in polar regions and is quite a handsome vessel.

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