News Release 06-070
Crew Member on Antarctic Research Vessel Missing
April 18, 2006
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A crew member aboard the National Science Foundation research vessel Laurence M. Gould is missing and presumed dead after apparently falling overboard in Antarctic waters.
The crew member, employed by Raytheon Polar Services Co., of Centennial, Colo., was discovered missing in the early afternoon on Monday, April 17 while the ship was en route north to its home port of Punta Arenas, Chile from NSF's Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula.
Argentine and Chilean search and rescue officials were notified.
NSF is not identifying the missing person. Next of kin have been notified.
The Gould was at approximately 60 degrees south latitude when the incident occurred. It turned about to retrace its path while crew members performed a thorough search of the vessel.
Weather and sea conditions in the area where the Gould was operating are among the harshest in the world, but were not unusually severe at the time.
NSF manages the U.S. Antarctic Program and coordinates U.S. scientific research on the southernmost continent and the surrounding oceans.
The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.