Rescuers Down Under

A C-17 aircrew supporting Operation Deep Freeze was called to the rescue when a Korean fishing vessel erupted in flames in the Ross Sea near Antarctica on Wednesday. The National Science Foundation icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer reached the burning vessel, evacuating the crew through the ice to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. The 304th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron crew from JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., was scheduled to fly from Christchurch New, Zealand, to McMurdo to meet the Palmer early Friday, reported Television New Zealand. Weather permitting, the Globemaster will then fly the seven fishermen—three of whom were severely burned—to Christchurch for treatment. An Air Force LC-130 Hercules at McMurdo is also standing by if the C-17 is unable to depart due to fog, according to the report. Operation Deep Freeze is the Defense Department’s annual joint-service mission supporting NSF research on the frozen continent. (See also Here Comes the Sun and Polar Parachutes.)