Crew Member on Antarctic Research Vessel Missing

April 18, 2006

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 are the time.

NSF manages the U.S. Antarctic Program and coordinates U.S. scientific research on the southernmost continent and the surrounding oceans.

Source: NSF

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