SANTIAGO – The Chilean navy has removed more than 200 tons of trash from Antarctica in an operation involving 268 sailors, the armed forces said.
Seventy-seven additional military personnel from different bases and 650 civilians, including scientists and passengers, joined the 69th Antarctic Campaign.
“Under the Antarctic Treaty, all bases must remove non-organic waste,” Cmdr. Rodrigo Lepe, maritime governor of Antarctica, said in a statement.
“Waste that can be treated is disposed of in the facilities we have on the white continent. All the trash that cannot be treated here is removed on navy ships as part of their annual missions,” Lepe said.
The Chilean contingent arrived in Antarctica aboard the transport ship Aquiles, the icebreaker Viel, the tugboat Lautaro and the ocean patrol vessel Marinero Fuentealba.
Two helicopters assigned to the ships flew on nine expeditions with 178 days of operations.
The main mission “was to support national Antarctic operators and foreign programs, in addition to participating in the Joint Naval Antarctic Patrol and scientific research on Chile’s Antarctic platform,” said Capt. Alvaro Carrasco, commander of the Viel.