Updated: 12/02/2013 09:42 | By Agence France-Presse

Australian chopper crew stranded in Antarctica after emegency landing

A helicopter carrying Australian researchers had to make an emergency landing in Antarctica, injuring the pilot and two passengers who are stranded awaiting rescue with another crew, officials said Monday.


Australian chopper crew stranded in Antarctica after emegency landing

A helicopter carrying Australian researchers came down in Antarctica, leaving the injured pilot and two passengers stranded and awaiting help

The chopper, chartered by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), went down 150 nautical miles from Davis Station on Sunday night as it returned from a penguin colony surveillance mission near the Amery ice shelf.

"The pilot and two passengers were injured in the incident," the government's AAD said in a statement.

"The helicopter was travelling in tandem with a second helicopter which immediately set down and assisted the injured."

The second helicopter's pilot and passenger were caring for the injured while a recovery and medical support mission was being scrambled, it added. 

The exact nature of their injuries or what prompted the emergency landing were unclear.

"Reports from the incident site are that all are warm and safe and that communication is being maintained with Davis station," the AAD said.

"The Australian Antarctic Division is currently looking at aircraft assets in the immediate area and weather patterns as it organises a recovery operation."

Australia has three Antarctic bases -- Davis, Casey and Mawson -- as well as a sub-Antarctic station at Macquarie Island. 

Its annual scientific mission to the icy continent for this Antarctic summer, which typically runs through to April, set off from Hobart in October.

Penguins are a major focus of this year's expedition, with a team exploring the historical feeding habits of Adelie penguins in the Davis region and the implications for fisheries management.

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