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NSF Press Release



NSF Considers Alternatives for Treating Ill South Pole Worker

airplane photo
A Kenn Borek Air Twin Ltd. Twin Otter on the ground
at Rothera Station during the 2002-2003 Antarctic
research season.
Photo Credit: Andy Barker, British Antarctic Survey
Select image for larger version
(Size: 427KB)

Sept. 17, 2003 / 2:30 p.m. Eastern:
A U.S. Air Force C-141 has arrived in Christchurch, N.Z. and will standby to assist, if needed.

The Twin Otters remain at Rothera Station awaiting favorable weather.

For NSF's press release, see:

View video of the South Pole, April 2001, at

NSF media officer: Peter West, (703) 292-7761 /

Antarctica map

A map of Antarctica with the stations involved in the medical evacuation and the potential flights paths of aircraft. The red line represents flight path of a Twin Otter from Rothera to the South Pole. The blue lines represent the flight path to New Zealand and would be used should the Twin Otter fly instead to McMurdo Station, where a U.S. Air Force C-141 would be waiting to evacuate the patient to New Zealand. Map for informational purposes only and is not to scale.

NSF will not be granting interviews for the duration of the medevac.

For weather at Rothera Station from the British Antarctic Survey, see: Rothera/Rothera_met.php

For a fact sheet on the U.S. Antarctic Program, see:


Previous Updates

Sept 16, 2003 / 12:00 p.m. Eastern:
Twin Otter aircraft are on a 24-hour weather hold at Rothera Station. No additional information is being made public at this time.

Sept. 15, 2003 / 4:35 p.m. Eastern:
Aircraft are in Rothera awaiting favorable weather for a Pole flight.

Sept. 12, 2003 / 5:35 p.m. Eastern:
Aircraft are expected to arrive this weekend at British research station in Antarctica, where they will await the first favorable weather to fly to NSF's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station to evacuate an ill worker spending the winter there. NSF manages the three U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) research stations and coordinates all U.S. scientific research and logistics support on the southernmost continent.


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