Two passengers aboard a ship chartered by Quark Expeditions have died after a zodiac boat overturned during an excursion near Elephant Island in Antarctica earlier this week, PAX has learned.
Quark Expeditions confirmed the incident with PAX in a statement on Friday morning (Nov. 18).
“We are deeply saddened to confirm that there has been a tragic accident during a zodiac excursion from the ship World Explorer, chartered by Quark Expeditions, near Elephant Island in the Antarctic on November 15,” the polar adventure travel company wrote.
A zodiac boat carrying six passengers and two expedition staff overturned near shore, "tragically resulting in two fatalities," the company confirmed.
The weather conditions consisted of light winds and there was a smooth sea, but “indications are the accident was caused by a breaking wave,” the company said.
“The other four passengers and two staff are recovering under the care and observation of our doctors and medical staff on board,” Quark Expeditions said. “The ship is currently returning back to port.”
The company noted that it is in close contact with the next of kin.
“Our priority right now is supporting them, our passengers and crew while we investigate further,” the company said. “We will continue to work with, and offer our assistance to, those involved during this difficult time, including full cooperation with the relevant authorities.”