The only Australian built icebreaker, the beloved RSV Aurora Australis, might soon leave our shores.
The Aurora was built in Carrington Slipways upriver from Newcastle. The ship was launched in 1989 and since then has served the Australian Antarctic program for 30 years. Orange Roughy, as it's affectionately known, helped Australia make its mark in Antarctica. It facilitated advancements in oceanography, climate science, marine research, glaciology and conservation including the management of krill fisheries.
The icebreaker was decommissioned this year. There had been a push to preserve the ship as a floating museum and function space based in Hobart. But the ship's owner, P&O Maritime Logistics, was granted an export permit so the ship could be sold overseas.
"The decision-making process regarding the future of Aurora Australis is ongoing. POML has been approached by a number of interested parties from around the world," a spokesperson said.
There Aurora is moored at Princes Wharf in Hobart, awaiting its next adventure.
It is really hard to comprehend that this is actually not a dream. We are miles from everywhere, it is the middle of winter in Antarctica, and your ship is on fire.Barbara Wienecke
We spoke to scientists, expeditioners and crew about their experiences aboard the icebreaker, including the engine room fire of 1998 and the rescue of a private vessel in 2013. You'll hear actual recordings from aboard the historic ship.
For more on the Aurora Australis check out Sarah Laverick's book Through Ice & Fire.
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