25 Feb 2011

Liferaft found in Southern Ocean search for yacht

5:04 pm on 25 February 2011

An empty liferaft believed to be from a Norwegian yacht missing in the Southern Ocean has been found.

Searchers have been looking for three men and the yacht, Berserk, in Antarctic waters since Tuesday.

A vessel from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boat Steve Irwin recovered the damaged raft on Friday morning.

There is evidence that it floated free from the yacht and that it had not been released manually. It has a torn canopy and is missing its first aid kit and survival knife.

Water temperatures in the area are about minus 12 degrees Celsius, putting survival times at minutes.

It is understood that two of the occupants were from Norway and the other from Britain.

The yacht had dropped off two Norwegian explorers on the ice. They are now one to two days' travel from McMurdo Station.