The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Chilean Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) provided on Thursday details on a joint Search and Rescue Workshop conducted last month in Punta Arenas, Chile.
HMS Protector, the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship, has returned to Portsmouth at the end of a nine-month deployment to the ‘Frozen Continent’. Operating in the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands throughout the Austral Summer, the ship conducted three intensive work periods in the ice, and a fourth work period in the waters surrounding South Georgia.
Argentine Foreign minister Hector Timerman said that relations with Uruguay are going through “a good moment”, contrary to recent statements from Uruguayan Vice-president Danilo Astori, and described as ‘false’ the information that two Falklands’ flagged fishing vessels had called into Uruguayan ports.
A new five-year Strategic Plan, an expanded Membership and committee structure, and a new yacht dockside observer program were among the items adopted at the 24th Annual Meeting of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), held April 22-24 in Punta Arenas, Chile.
The Brazilian Navy announced in Rio the winning proposal for the new Antarctic research base Comandante Ferraz which in February last year was destroyed by fire with the loss of two lives and damages in excess of 12 million dollars.
The Buenos Aires media is reporting a potential incident situation in South Georgia waters which could erupt into something more complicated from the moment the Argentine research vessel ‘Eduardo Holmberg’ has been involved in scientific activities in a zone which last year was declared by the UK as a Maritime Protected Area, MPA, and which Argentina does not recognize since it considers it ‘an area in dispute’.
The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, IAATO, with over a hundred member organizations held in April its latest annual meeting in Punta Arenas, Chile with a numerous delegation from the Falkland Islands attending given the growing economic significance of the cruise industry and Antarctica tours.
A tugboat from the Chilean Navy equipped for environmental emergencies is trying to determine the position where the remains of the Chinese factory ship Kai Xin went down in Antarctica last week after catching fire and left adrift by the 97 member crew rescued by a Norwegian vessel and a reefer.
The Chilean government efforts to develop Puerto Williams in the extreme south of the country as an austral tourism centre and gateway to Antarctica received an ‘excellent’ feedback from the recent IAATO annual meeting held in Punta Arenas.
An estimated 35.000 visitors enjoyed the pristine landscape of Antarctica during this last 2012/13 season, which represents a 32% increase over the previous period, according to IAATO, (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators) and is responsible for 90% or these tours.