The icebreaker A.R.A. "Almirante Irízar" takes to the
name of a prominent official of the Argentine Navy. In
1903, he was in charge of the A.R.A "Uruguay" corvette
that rescued the Swedish Scientific Expedition of Dr.
Otto Nordenskjöld and the shipwrecks of the "Antartic"
marked the beginning Argentine Republic’s activity in
the Antarctic continent and by virtue of the confronted
risks and of the little knowledge that there was of this
region it was considered a feat by the international
On October 8, 1903
a multitude met in the Port of Buenos Aires to be
present when the "Uruguay" corvette, a ship of the
Argentine Navy, set sail to the Antarctic continent. The
Argentine President, Julio A. Roca, got on board to see
off the crew that would be protagonist of a historical
event of great importance.
Also, on February
22, 1904 and giving continuity to the feat made, the
Argentine Government took the weather station located in
the Laurie island (Southern Orcadas archipelago) under
charge. The weather station had been operated by members
of the Scottish expedition of William Bruce until that
From that moment
onwards this installation, the oldest Antarctic base,
develops its activities in an uninterrupted way granting
merit to the Argentine Republic of being the first
country with permanent presence in the Antarctic
Scientific Expedition to the Antarctic Continent
On October 16,
1901 the "Antartic" set sail from Gotemburgo (Sweden)
under the control of captain Carl Anton Larsen. On board
were the members of the Scientific Swedish Expedition,
headed by Otto Nordenskjöld. During those years, the
scientific world community scientist prepared other
expeditions to the continent Antarctic with the
objective of materialising their exploration.
conceived the idea of hibernating in the Antarctic
continent in order to develop investigation activities
during a year. On the meanwhile, the "Antartic" would
remain in the Falklands, so as to meet again and to
return to Sweden in a later stage.
On December 16
they arrived at Buenos Aires initiating immediately the
re-supplying tasks and the necessary adjustment of
details to set off on the final stage of their trip.
Republic, within the framework of the future
international scientific expeditions, installed a
magnetic observatory in the New Year island located two
miles to the north of the Island of the States.
set sail on December 20, 1901 heading to the "Falklands"
and "Ańo Nuevo" in order to sail soon towards the
The "Cerro Nevado"
(Snow Hill) island fulfilled the conditions to hibernate,
but before the threat of the possibility that the ice
fields could trap the ship, a fast disembarkation of the
necessary equipment was made. After this the "Antartic"
weighed anchor immediately.
The ship had
planned to sail to the south to establish an emergency
deposit, strongpoint for future expeditionary crossings,
but due to strong hurricane-like winds this was not
arrived at the Falklands where it stayed during the
winter of 1902. In its trip back to the "Cerro Nevado"
island, the ship was blocked by an ice field and this
fact caused its later sinking.
Not having the
news of expeditionary forces, the international
community began to worry and the Argentine Government
sent the "Uruguay" corvette in order to carry out its
Argentine Republic, once again showed a leading attitude
in relation to its southern territories. The Argentine
Navy, instrument that implemented such plan,
demonstrated before the eyes of the world the high
degree of professionalism reached by its men.