VP8STI Shuts Down, Operators Return to Ship
[UPDATE: 2016-01-27 1350 UTC] The Braveheart crew has been able to remove all of the VP8STI equipment from Southern Thule on January 26. Nothing was left behind. The DXpedition team now is headed for South Georgia where it plans to operate for 8 days as VP8SGI.
After managing to recover from the effects of a fierce South Atlantic storm, an emergency resulting from the storm has forced the VP8STI team back to their transport vessel, the R/V Braveheart. Chief Pilot Station Toni Gonzalez, EA5RM, said the Braveheart’s skipper, Nigel Jolly, declared an emergency on January 25 at 2120 UTC, ordering the VP8STI team to cease all operations and return to the ship.
A large ice floe that broke away due to the storm threatened to block the entrance to the bay where they were camped, opening up the possibility that the ship might not be able to retrieve them. The team now is safely aboard the vessel and moving away from Southern Thule Island, but all of the DXpedition’s gear and personal effects remain on the island.
They are hoping that a break in the weather will let them return to the camp site. Once they are able to retrieve their equipment, they will make a decision on whether to go forward with the planned VP8SGI operation from South Georgia. VP8STI logged 51,613 contacts during its stay on Southern Thule Island, with 16,842 discrete call signs. -- Thanks to The Daily DX