Sun, Mar 23, 2014 - Page 7 News List

FEATURE: Brazilian seafarers brave ‘world’s worst’ passage

IN NAME OF SCIENCE:The crew of 82 have risked their lives in order to cross the world’s most-feared seas, the 1,000km Drake Passage, to reach a research base

AFP, aboard the ‘Ary Rongel’

The crew of 82, all military, carry out a range of functions from cook to diver, pilot to mechanic, chaplain to commander.

Twenty-three civilians — scientists and journalists — make up the remainder of the 105 passengers.

On each mission, the crew stay aboard from October to April and will generally make five trips down to the base during that period.

Joining the Ary Rongel, another Brazilian Navy vessel, the Almirante Maximiano, offers logistic support to the group of researchers at the base and elsewhere in the Antarctic, bringing supplies and equipment and taking away trash.

Hercules C-130 military aircraft from the Brazilian Air Force also lend logistical support, flying in and out of Chile’s Frei base, which has a landing strip that Brazil’s own base lacks.

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