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Faurie: "The Almirante Irízar Icebreaker and the work of its crew make all Argentines proud"

26 December 2017
Información para la Prensa N°: 

"Today is a particularly auspicious day because the Almirante Irízar Icebreaker, which is the symbol of our country's presence in Antarctica for all Argentines, is setting sail once again. We are very proud that you can go back to sea," Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie stated today in the presence of the crew of the emblematic ship docked at Buenos Aires Port, which departed today in the context of the Summer Antarctic Campaign 2017-2018.

Joined by the Minister of Defence, Oscar Aguad, the Antarctic authorities of the Argentine Foreign Ministry, the authorities of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Navy, the Air Force and the Army, as well as the families of the crew, Minister Faurie highlighted "the work in furtherance of sovereignty and scientific development carried out by the crew of the Almirante Irízar and the ships that will spearhead the campaign, which are part of a tradition of presence of the Argentine Republic in Antarctica that spans over 113 years."

Minister Faurie explained that Argentina "will launch 47 scientific projects coordinated by the Argentine Antarctic Institute of the Argentine Foreign Ministry. The Institute, the National Directorate for Antarctica and the National Directorate for Antarctic Foreign Policy are the three pillars of Argentina's presence" in the white continent. "Antarctic policy is one of the key State policies pursued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," the Foreign Minister added.

"At a time like this, we must remember our 44 fellow countrymen aboard the ARA San Juan Submarine, who are an example of courage and the defence of Argentina's interests in our territorial sea, the same duty now also entrusted to you," the Foreign Minister stated.

In addition, Minister Faurie noted that it is no coincidence that the Icebreaker is "named after the naval commander who in 1903 rescued the Swedish expedition led by Otto Nordenskjöld", and added that "during that rescue, another important Argentine naval officer that stood out was Ensign José María Sobral".

Finally, the Foreign Minister stressed that: "We entrust you with scientific, technical and logistic tasks; as leaders of the Antarctic campaign, you are in charge of implementing Argentina's Antarctic policy. We also thank your families for their personal efforts in the upcoming months. I wish you good work and hope that your accomplishments will fill us all with pride upon your return."


The crew aboard the Almirante Irízar includes scientists and technicians from the Argentine Antarctic Institute and the National Directorate for Antarctica, logistic personnel from the Armed Forces and staff for Argentine Antarctic Stations, as well as foreign scientists and technicians from countries and organizations with which Argentina cooperates in Antarctic matters. The ship also carries cargo and supplies in order to stock up Stations and to facilitate Argentine scientific research in Antarctica.

As of today, the ship is part of the 114th Summer Antarctic Campaign (SAC), following a repair and modernization process due to the 2007 fire, which caused the ship to remain inactive for ten years. The ship is an essential component of the SAC and an important means for Argentina to lead the campaign with its own resources, without the help of foreign vessels.

The two ships that have already set sail for Antarctica are carrying fuel tanks, food, tools and miscellaneous equipment, loaded at Buenos Aires Port in the days preceding their departure.

The SAC 2017-2018 will last 120 days.

In the first stage of its mission in Antarctic waters, the Almirante Irízar is expected to refuel at the Esperanza, Marambio, Petrel and Orcadas Stations, and will then continue its journey to Belgrano 2 Station, Argentina's southernmost station, where personnel that have been working for a year will be replaced. As scheduled, scientists have already been sent to year-round stations Carlini, which reports to the Argentine Foreign Ministry, and Marambio.


Press release No. 597/17

Press Office: 4819-7375 / 8296 / 7388