By J. Brock (SARTMA)
Photo (c) Australian Customs - Viarsa in heavy, icy seas.
Since reporting VIARSA1 and SOUTHERN SUPPORTER at approximately 55S and 5E, the chase has moved approximately 180 nautical miles to the north-north-west of Bouvetoya (Bouvet) Island. The ships are close to each other but the dangerous seas in that area of the Southern Ocean has made it impossible for Australian authorities to board VIARSA1.
Meanwhile, AGULHAS, the South African Antarctic supply ship, is headed towards the two vessels, which are now in an area where small ice bergs, burger bits and growlers dot the sea and make the 10 metre waves even more treacherous.
It is thought that the VIARSA1 is trying to make it back to South America.