The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin was contacted by the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) earlier today with a request to assist in the search for the missing yacht Berserk. The 14-meter steel hulled yacht is believed to be near Scott Base on Ross Island in McMurdo Sound, that position was 200 miles from the Steve Irwin at the time the report was received,
Captain Paul Watson informed RCCNZ that the Steve Irwin would change course and head towards that location immediately. There are three, possibly five crewmembers onboard the yacht, part of a Norwegian polar expedition.
"Weather conditions are not good but the storm seems to be abating," said Captain Watson from the Steve Irwin. "We should be able to launch our helicopter within 15 hours from receiving the report."
The New Zealand Navy vessel Wellington is also searching for survivors. The Wellington and the Steve Irwin are the only ships available to participate in the search.
Nothing has been heard from the Berserk since they issued a distress signal late last night that was received by RCCNZ.
"We are hopeful that they will be found," said Sea Shepherd helicopter pilot Chris Aultman. "This is a terribly awful place to be in distress. A combination of ice, extreme cold, remoteness, and high winds make for an unforgiving environment. But we will do the best we can to help find them and we hope the Wellington is successful in their efforts."
Read more at The New Zealand Herald