Uh, oh: Federal Government to seek full cost recovery for Antarctic expedition rescue
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday said costs, estimated at about $2.4 million, would be sought from the insurer of the operators of the vessel.
The MV Akademik Shokalskiy, chartered by the University of NSW-associated Australasian Antarctic Expedition to retrace the steps of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, became stuck in thick sea ice on Christmas Eve.
The 52 passengers were rescued by the Aurora Australis on January 2.
Mr Hunt said the Commonwealth would seek compensation for the recovery effort.
“We will be seeking full cost recovery through insurers for the up to $2.4 million costs incurred by the Australian government,” he said.
“We have a duty to protect life at sea and we do that willingly.
“However, what we see here is that there are some questions as to whether or not the ship was detained by the action of those on board within an area the captain had identified as potentially being subject to being frozen in.
“I think we have a duty on behalf of taxpayers to seek full cost recovery.”
h/t to Lucia at the Blackboard
I’m betting that with this revelation…
About 2.30pm the weather deteriorated. At the same time Captain Kiselev saw slabs of sea ice moving into the open water channel from which the ship had entered the area. He called for everyone to return.
A passenger standing near Professor Turney overheard the voyage leader, Greg Mortimer, telling him over the radio to bring passengers back to the ship so it can leave.
But minutes later, Professor Turney drove six more passengers into the field.
…the insurers will likely say the incident was caused by neglience on the part of Dr. Chris Turney, and toss the claim back in their laps.
UPDATE: Gosh, the hardships these Guardian guys faced is just inspiring. So is the lack of self-awareness.
— Alok Jha (@alokjha) January 24, 2014