MADRID – Capt. Javier Montojo Salazar died in the Antarctic after accidentally falling into the sea while sailing the oceanographic research vessel Hesperides, the Spanish Defense Ministry reported in a statement.
The Spanish navy officer’s mortal remains are now aboard the ship en route to Ushuaia, Argentina, to begin the process of repatriation to Spain.
The body of the captain, who disappeared near the Juan Carlos I Naval Base on Livingston Island, was found after a search lasting three hours.
The family has been informed and is receiving the support of a team made up of navy personnel.
Assigned to the General Management of Arms and Materiel of the Defense Ministry, the frigate captain was engaged in one of the research projects the Spanish ship was carrying out in the area.
The Hesperides weighed anchor last Nov. 24 at the eastern Spanish port of Cartagena to begin the 2017-2018 Antarctic campaign, planned to last until next May and focused on the effects of climate change, geophysics, seismology, and the new navigation and positioning system using the European satellite Galileo.
The ship first headed to Argentina to initiate from there the scientific expedition.
The Hesperides has a crew of almost 100 people, between navy personnel and scientists.