Any Updates on the clean-up of the Explorer in Anartica?

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Any Updates on the clean-up of the Explorer in Anartica?

Postby surfergrl » Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:46 pm

Anyone have any news on the environmental damaged caused by the capsize and GAPs efforts for clean-up???

Does give one pause for thought about travelling to such eco-sensitive enviornments, not matter how supposedly eco-friendly the trip.
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Postby sinecure » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:00 pm

That's a very good question. I'll see if I can get Customer Service to weigh in on this for everyone.

Happy Travels,
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Postby Customer_Service » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:41 pm

Hi surfergirl,

Thanks for your post - this is a great question, and one we are very concerned with.

We are committed to responsible and sustainable travel. G.A.P Adventures has always been committed to ensuring all our marine expeditions operate in a responsible manner, and we meet or exceed all environmental regulations and protocols in the eco-sensitive environments we visit. We are a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, which promotes safe and environmentally responsible private sector travel to the Antarctic.

In regards to the current situation, both the Chilean Navy and The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) have assessed the area. The ITOPF released a statement on December 7 on their website which reported:

"-a 5km square area of oil sheen was reported in the area where the vessel sank. This represents a few meters of oil. The Chilean Navy’s most recent reports on 28 November note that the sheen is no longer in close proximity to floating ice and to date there have been no observed environmental impacts as a result of the releases of oil.

-Marine Gas Oil (which was used on the Explorer) is a light, non-persistent oil, which is expected to dissipate naturally in a relatively short period of time (hours/days) after release, mainly through the processes of evaporation and dispersion, which are greatly enhanced by high winds and heavy seas that are typical of the region.

-The oil has been observed to spread out to a thin sheen and fragment immediately upon arriving at the sea surface before being carried a distance of just a few kilometres by wind and currents and dissipating completely.

-Due to the observed location of the sheen trail and its rapid dissipation it seems unlikely that any trace of oil will reach the shoreline."

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