‘Please Scott Morrison, bring us home’
A Sydney firefighter on board an Antarctic expedition ship docked in South America is among almost 150 stranded Australians on the vessel who urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help get them home.
Blue Mountains resident Kim de Govrik, who went on the cruise after coming out of retirement to help with the summer bushfire campaign, has been on the MV Ocean Atlantic since March 2 when he and fellow Australians had boarded the ship for the cruise.
After journeying to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, Mr de Govrik said passengers learned the ship might have problems docking at the Argentine city of Puerto Madryn when it returned upon its return on March 21.
"We were supposed to stop there and then everyone would fly home from Buenos Aires," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"As it could not stop there, it went to the Port of Montevideo where some passengers were let off but the Australians remained on board."
Mr de Govrik said the passengers were told expedition company - Chimu Adventures - would be organising a chartered flight for about $5000 per person.
However, there had been no further information on the flights despite talk that the cost may be increasing.
In desperation, the passengers this morning sent an email to Mr Morrison to help with their plight.
"We had thought we would have been off this ship by now," Mr de Govrik said.
While there were no children on board and no-one was unwell, the mood was becoming increasingly desperate as the opportunity to fly home became seemingly more distant, he said.
"People are either angry, upset or really pissed off," he said.
"They all want to get home ASAP. The opportunity to fly home is rapidly closing."
In the letter emailed to Mr Morrison, the passengers described the ship as "healthy".
"But Prime Minister, we need you to act quickly as we do not know how long we will be allowed to stay moored at Montevideo and we don't know what will happen to us after that," the letter said.
"Our future is very uncertain.
"We have done everything we can do Prime Minister: PLEASE Scott Morrison bring us home."
Originally published as 'Please Scott Morrison, bring us home'