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Icebreaker heads to Antarctic station on rescue mission


An Australian icebreaker is on its way to Antarctica to evacuate an expeditioner suffering from a medical condition.

The RSV Nuyina departed Hobart last week headed for Australia's Casey Research Station about 3500km away on the Antarctic ice cap.

A developing medical condition means the expeditioner requires specialist medical assessment and care in Australia, the Australian Antarctic Division said in a statement on Saturday.

"The well-being of our people is our highest priority," the statement said.

"The expeditioner's family is being kept fully informed of the situation."

All other personnel on stations were accounted for and safe, the statement said.

The state-of-the-art icebreaker vessel had been prepared for the journey in the past several weeks

The division said the ship was carrying helicopters to be used in the evacuation.

During winter, Casey station is populated by about 20 people who remain there for the season.