Search For Missing Crew Member Ends
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Joshua Spillane Not Found

Wednesday April 19, 2006 5:30PM MDT

Joshua Spillane
Joshua Spillane on the
back deck of the Research
Vessel Laurence M. Gould.
Photo: National Science
Foundation; 2000.

The formal search for Joshua Spillane, marine technician, ended at 1800 (EDT) on April 19. Joshua was discovered missing from the research vessel Laurence M. Gould on April 17. The ship was in routine transit from Palmer Station, Antarctica to Punta Arenas, Chile.

An exhaustive search has been underway since it was determined that Joshua was not onboard by the R/V Laurence M. Gould crew and passengers. In addition, the search has been augmented by a P3 aircraft flown by the Argentinean Air Defense search and rescue force. There has been no sighting of Joshua. The research vessel has begun slowly sailing northward and personnel will continue to look enroute parallel to their original course. The estimated time of arrival at Punta Arenas, Chile, is early morning April 22.

Tom Yelvington, Vice President of Raytheon Technical Services and Program Manager of Raytheon Polar Services Company: "It is with tremendous sadness that I announce the cessation of search operations for Joshua Spillane. Our Polar Family, especially our Marine Science division, has been shaken by this tragedy. To my knowledge, this sort of incident has never occurred on a United States Antarctic Program research vessel, and we will work diligently to learn more about the circumstances of his disappearance. All speak very highly of Joshua's expertise, experience, jovial personality, and numerous contributions to the United States Antarctic Program. Our thoughts and support go out to his family and friends. Our appreciation and thanks go out to all onboard the Gould, and the Chilean, Argentine, and U.S. authorities for their assistance in the search efforts."



Previous postings below


Search Continues

Wednesday April 19, 2006 11:30AM MDT

The search for Joshua Spillane continued on Tuesday April 18 with the assistance of an Argentinean Air Defense search and rescue P3 aircraft. The crew and passengers of the R/V Laurence M. Gould continued searching the grid patterns throughout the night and the effort is ongoing at the time of this posting.

Officials from Raytheon, U.S. Federal, and Chilean agencies are conducting routine fact-finding processes related to the incident.



Crew Member on Antarctic Research Vessel Missing

Tuesday April 18, 2006 3PM MDT
Joshua Spillane
Joshua Spillane operating
a Zodiac boat at Deception Island,
Antarctica. Photo: National
Science Foundation; 2000.


On Monday April 17, 2006, Raytheon Polar Services employee Joshua Spillane aboard the National Science Foundation's research vessel Laurence M. Gould was determined missing after apparently falling overboard in the Drake Passage. The R/V Laurence M. Gould was on a routine shuttle between the U.S. Antarctic Program's Palmer Station (64°46'S, 64°03'W) and Punta Arenas, Chile, when Mr. Spillane was declared missing. The distance between Palmer Station and Punta Arenas is approximately 960 nautical miles and takes about 4 days.

The R/V Laurence M. Gould in icy waters
The R/V Laurence M.
Gould in icy waters.

Joshua Spillane, 31, was last seen on the 01 Deck at approximately 0700 (EDT). He worked on over 30 cruises on both the R/V Laurence M. Gould and Nathaniel B. Palmer over the past 10 years.

Joshua was discovered missing at approximately 1200 (EDT). A muster of all personnel was conducted and the vessel was searched. At approximately 1400 (EDT) the ship reversed course to return to the area where Spillane was last seen (57°53'S, 64°3'W), arriving there at approximately 2200 (EDT).

Raytheon Polar Services External Non U.S. Government Site is under contract to the National Science Foundation to provide science, operations, and maintenance support to sustain year-round research programs at three U.S. locations in Antarctica and two research vessels in the Antarctic region. Edison Chouest OffshoreExternal Non U.S. Government Site owns and operates the vessel, subcontracted by Raytheon Polar Services for U.S. Antarctic Program operations. Raytheon Polar Services provides science and technical personnel.

Link:
U.S. Antarctic Program routes to Antarctica External U.S. Government Site

Images:
Joshua Spillane on the back deck of the Research Vessel Laurence M. Gould
Photo: National Science Foundation; 2000
Joshua Spillane operating a Zodiac boat at Deception Island, Antarctica
Photo: National Science Foundation; 2000

The R/V Laurence M. Gould docked at Palmer Station External U.S. Government Site
The R/V Laurence M. Gould anchored near Port Lockroy External U.S. Government Site
The R/V Laurence M. Gould in icy waters External U.S. Government Site
Aerial view of the R/V Laurence M. Gould docked at Palmer Station External U.S. Government Site

Media inquiries should be directed to Valerie Carroll, Raytheon Polar communications manager at 720.568.2057 or Elaine Hood, Raytheon Polar communications specialist at 720.568.2134.

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