MAGDALENA OLDENDORFF

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The "Magdalena Oldendorff" was built in 1983 as a ARCTIC-21 Ice Class multi-purpose Ro/Ro vessel. She is one of a large fleet operated by her German owners.

In late 2000 it was announced that "Magdalena Oldendorff" would be the support vessel for the 20th Indian Antarctic Expedition. She left Capetown on the 31st December, 2000 bound for the Antarctic continent taking the Indian Expedition led by the Geologist Marvin D'Souza.   Her establishment included two New Zealand helicopters with New Zealand and Indian aircrew.

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MAGDA 1.  2001 (March 18th) Cover posted Capetown on return of Expedition.    Price US$6

Note: The above cover has been autographed at bottom left by Ewald Brune, the German Ice Pilot engaged for the Expedition. The cover also bears cachets of the vessel, the helicopter crew, the Indian base "Maitri" and the expedition itself.

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MAGDA 2.  2001 (March 18th) Cover posted Capetown on return of Expedition.    Price US$8

Note: this cover differs from the previous item in that it also has a special Indian Antarctic Expedition sticker applied at lower left. The Waterfront Antarctica postmark is applied at Capetown to mail originating from the Antarctic.

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MAGDA 3.  2002 (March 25th) Cover caried helicopter from First 2002 voyage.    Price US$10

Note: Cover signed at left by the German ice Pilot Ewald Brune. It has a cachet from Maitri Indian Base and is postmarked with the special Waterfront Antarctica postmark on arrival back at Captown.

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Another view of  "Magdalena Oldendorff".

MAGDALENA OLDENDORFF TRAPPED IN THE ICE.

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Argentine icebreaker "Almirante Irizar"

On the 14th of June, 2002 we learnt that the "Magdalena Oldendorff" while on her second voyage to the Indian Maitri Base became stuck fast in the pack ice.

Plans were made for her to be rescued by the Argentine Icebreaker "Almirante Irizar" (Shown at left) along with help from the South African vessel "Agulhas".

On the 28th June, 2002 the "Agulhas" was close enough to fly off its two helicopters which rescued 21 of the Russian Scientists from the "Magdalena Oldendorff". Further flights the following day saw the remainder of the passengers transferrred to the "Agulhas" and subsequently returned to Capetown.

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"Agulhas" leaving Capetown for the rescue attempt

In early August 2002 the Argentine Icebreaker "Almirante Irizar" eventually made its way through the ice to come alongside the "Magdalena Oldendorff" as shown below

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However attempts to extricate both vessels have proved difficult and at the end of July the decision was made for "Magdalena Oldendorff" to winter in the ice until the coming summer (5 months away) while the Argentine icebreaker "Almirante Irizar" would return to Buenos Aires which it did on 18th August, 2002. The Argentine Post office produced a special postmark to celebrate this event and thiscan be seen on our Almirante Irizar page.  In late November 2002 the "Magdalena Oldendorff"  freed itself from the ice and was back in Capetown before Christmas.

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MAGDA 4.  2002 (April) Postcard posted from Maitri Base.    Price US$8

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The view at left shows the picture side of the above postcard.

The ship's XX expedition cachet has been applied to the postcard atlower left.

**** 2002-2003 XX11 ANTARCTIC SEASON  ****

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MAGDA 5.  2003 (January 26th) Signed envelope posted from Maitri Base.    Price US$10

Note: The above envelope has been autographed at lower left by the Maitri Postmaster Misha Bajpai and bears a new cachet of "Magdalena Oldendorff"at bottom middle.


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