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Montevideo, November 21st 2017 - 19:18 UTC

Icebreaker Almirante Irizar expected in Puerto Belgrano for high seas trials

Wednesday, July 5th 2017 - 15:28 UTC
Full article 5 comments
   The recovered and refurbished Almirante Irizar is heading for Puerto Belgrano before joining as flagship of the Argentine navy Antarctic effort The recovered and refurbished Almirante Irizar is heading for Puerto Belgrano before joining as flagship of the Argentine navy Antarctic effort

The emblematic Argentine navy icebreaker Almirante Irizar, responsible for the country's Antarctic effort left Buenos Aires on Tuesday for high sea trials. The Atlantic incursion was its first in ten years, since in 2007 the icebreaker suffered a major fire that almost destroyed the vessel, originally built in Finland.

 ”Icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar leaves Buenos Aires for the dry dock in Puerto Belgrano (the Argentine Navy's main base to the south of the Buenos Aires province) where it will undergo the hull systems' verification”, according to an official release from the Defense ministry.

Defense minister Julio César Martínez said that the trip to Puerto Belgrano is a high seas trial, the previous step to start ice trials and before her full reincorporation to the Argentine navy Antarctic effort.

In April 2007, on its return from the Antarctic campaign, Almirante Irizar caught fire at the generators' room which rapidly extended to the rest of the vessel. She was sailing 250 kilometers off the Argentine coast and its 296 crew members were rescued by two fishing vessels after six hours in the high seas in lifeboats.

In early 2010 it was decided to recover the icebreaker at the Tandanor dry dock, and following a seven years odyssey of insufficient funds, unending red tape and corruption allegations emerging from soaring over costs, Almirante Irizar finally emerged from the Argentine Naval and Industrial complex, heading for Puerto Belgrano.

However last 25 April the icebreaker was involved, successfully, in sailing trials to test systems, equipments and engines.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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  • Kanye

    “ ... following a seven years odyssey of insufficient funds, unending red tape and corruption allegations emerging from soaring over costs”

    Emblematic of the CFK reign.

    Now that Macri is President, it is miraculously finished and puts to sea.

    Jul 05th, 2017 - 11:40 pm +3
  • Marti Llazo

    To the US$26 million or so spent during those ten years (during which time a new icebreaker could have been acquired more cheaply) we need to add ten years of annual supply costs (US$25 million or so in 2015 alone) to lease foreign shipping to send materials to Antarctica.

    What is even funnier is that all that material was being sent to bases that are located in the British Antarctic Territory !

    Jul 06th, 2017 - 12:19 am +3
  • Marti Llazo

    When we add the cost of the rebuilding of the ship to the amounts expended during the nearly 10 years it was unavailable, to contract substitute services such as Russian shipping, it would have been cheaper to buy a comparable icebreaker. The failure to install proper fire-smoke grade cabling is already known to the cognoscenti and poses high risks the next time a fire gets going aboard. And it remains to be seen if the rest of the renovation work was done satisfactorily, and whether it will ram a jetty on its way to open water.

    Jul 06th, 2017 - 02:02 pm +2
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