Erebus victims' relatives return from crash site

  • Breaking
  • 17/02/2011

By Kloe Palmer

Relatives of those killed in the Erebus disaster say no one should underestimate the significance of their memorial trip to the ice.

It was a pilgrimage to the area where their loved ones perished 31 years ago.

For the 104 aboard the 757, yesterday’s trip to Antarctica was about seeing, for the first time, the environment that was the last thing their loved ones ever saw.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Rochelle Stevenson, who lost one of her parents in the disaster.

“It was surreal. It was amazingly quiet. It was just fantastic. I think everyone was there on their own little mission… it was great.”

Ms Stevens said hers was one of the lucky families who got a body back after disaster.

“A lot of people didn’t and for them, it was like visiting the grave site,” she says.

Relatives of 25 people who were killed missed out on Wednesday’s trip.

When it comes to putting on another, it’s not money or resources posing restrictions – it’s the elements.

“I think we are pretty lucky with the weather. That’s the single biggest risk, because of the remoteness, you don’t have many options down there. But if the weather plays the game and it can be done,” says Royal New Zealand Airforce spokesman Tony Davies.

Yesterday’s trip had to be cut short by two hours when weather conditions changed unexpectedly.

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source: newshub archive