53rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition ICEBREAKER “SHIRASE”

1. A crowd sends off the icebreaker “Shirase” as it embarks on its voyage 2. Personnel saying goodbye to his family before the voyage 3. Departure ceremony
1. A crowd sends off the icebreaker “Shirase” as it embarks on its voyage
2. Personnel saying goodbye to his family before the voyage
3. Departure ceremony

From November 11, 2011 to April 9, 2012 the MSDF will use its icebreaker “Shirase” to carry out the 53rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition.

Under the command of Commanding Officer Takuo Nakato, on November 11, 2011 a total of 175 members departed from Harumi Pier in Tokyo Bay to assist in the navigation to the 53rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition’s Antarctic base and to transport personnel and supplies.

Thereafter, 72 members of the Antarctic Research Expedition that had arrived in Australia via air boarded the Shirase from Fremantle Port on November 26, 2011, where after the ship commenced its voyage to Antarctica on November 30.

On its return the ship is to transport a total of 71 members, including those from the 52nd Overwintering Unit and the 53rd Summer Unit, to Fremantle Port, where after it is scheduled to return to Japan on April 9, 2012.

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