back to article Antarctic base staff in drunken Xmas punch-up

Two men were airlifted from the US-run Amundsen-Scott South Pole station after what is described as a "drunken Christmas punch-up". According to the Guardian, one of the men suffered a suspected broken jaw during the scrap. The pair were flown by US Air Force Hercules to the headquarters of the US Antarctic Programme - McMurdo …


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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Tsk, tsk...scientists, eh?

    Any chance this little fracas was preceded by the phrase "Are you looking at my pengiun?"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice work by the Sales dept

    "Being unproductive..." says the ad. Couldn't possibly be an ad hominem, could it?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't see eye to eye

    over GW, perhaps?

    // those'll be my 3 coats

  5. Dirk Vandenheuvel

    The Thing?

    They better check these guys before they let them walk free.


  6. Steven Griffiths

    Meanwhile the search goes on for the other couple...

    ...who decided to take their differences outside.

  7. Stu Pid

    @Neil Studd

    Never mind the X-Files, what about The Thing?

    Pingu because he started it with his Yo Mama jokes.

  8. James Dean Kirby

    McMurdo is nothing but a drunken fiesta anyway....

    I've a friend who's done 4 or 5 tours in Antarctica (summer and winter) and has said McMurdo is basically an open bar and drunken party every night, especially in the polar winter when there's only a skeleton support crew. She said there's always some animosity between someone (scientific egos, after all) but that it rarely goes anywhere.

    Every bar has a fight sooner or later.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Nice work by the Sales dept

    WTF are you on about?

  10. Pete James
    Dead Vulture

    Did they argue about which Christmas day film to watch?

    Ice Station Zebra or Scott of the Antarctic. Must have been a tense discussion........

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Nice work by the Sales dept

    Earlier there was a humongous Flash advert in the middle of the page, as reported above. As it's now gone, we must infer that the McMurdo Xmas spirit temporarily possessed Vulture Central. It has now been exorcised and was last seen drifting off unsteadily in the direction of Drowning St.

  12. Anonymous John

    All your Antactic base

    is belong to me.

  13. Morely Dotes
    Thumb Up

    Re: Nice work by the Sales dept

    "Earlier there was a humongous Flash advert in the middle of the page"

    Must have been sourced from Doubleclick or one of the many other intrusive/malicious sites blocked by the MVPS Hosts file. I've never seen such a thing since installing it. Thanks, MVPS!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I call this one "the hammer"

    "The injured party is apparently an employee of Raytheon Polar Services, although the names of the two pugilists were not released. Company spokeswoman Val Carroll confirmed "an investigation into the incident would be held"."

    Poor advert for Raytheon - "we employ seven-stone weaklings". They need to hold some kind of punching competition before they send people off to the Wild South. I imagine that, if the jaw-breaking victor is allowed to go back to Antarctica, he'll walk tall through the swing doors, and the pianist will stop playing, and someone will rush outside to tie up his horse, and he can have whatever drink he wants.

  15. Sam


    Someone asked for Ice in their drink and was told there wasn't any left..

    The Fiennes parka, thanks.

  16. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    Some minor details

    There's two types of people at the US bases in the Antarctic: scientists, contractors and Raytheon employees.

    Three! There's three types of people: scientists, seasonal contractors, Raytheon employees and NSF government drones.

    Err, FOUR! Four types of people: scientists, seasonal contractors, Raytheon employees, NSF government drones and military/national guard personnel...

    Blast...! Five...

    At any rate, if you've been involved in any kind of dust up or screw up, you are NOT going back to the Ice. Ever. At least not with RPSC. They get really short with you. Even small infractions can get you thrown out, never mind ones like this.

    As for the drunkenness: that comes and goes and is mostly up to the people. I spent many a night in the wine bar, sometimes getting sloshed (including a memorable one with government staffers - they made me look like a cheap date) and sometimes just having a quiet read. Now, Gallaghers's and Southern Exposure on the other hand... honky tonk comes to mind.


  17. Jim Hunter
    Thumb Up

    It's people like them....

    ...that spoil it for the rest!

    Not that anybody will read this: Stuck out here in the middle of the North Sea, just a bit south of the Dogger Bank, we will be spending New Year with nothing stronger to drink than Schluur and Kali-ber.

    Long gone are the days of beer out on the North Sea Oil/Gas platforms.

    Still. I'll be back in on Thursday for 2 weeks off.

    Happy New Year to all@El Reg

  18. andrew mulcock

    what time is nid night at pole

    On basis that camp is 'at pole' then, it straddles all time zones,

    so does that mean they can celebrate midnight on 31st Dec 24 times ?

    Wow, now that would be a party worth going to !

  19. Tuomo Stauffer

    Partying is fun, fighting is not

    Why do they send instable people to these places? Really hard work, hard partying is really what keeps (a lot of) people going but why fight? It is so easy to pick up the personalities who can't take their drinks so? Take them out once and challenge them, if they get aggressive say it was nice to meet you but..

  20. Ian Davidson

    @Jim Hunter

    Well Jim, I can remember similar 'difficulties' with some of the bears on Ninian Central in the old 'wild west days' – “Right, I’ll see you on the helideck then”

    No beer then either, but plenty of NRBs* on the T cards though.

    Have a good one with the grape Juice.

    *Not Required Back - for normal El Reg folks, that’s the way industrial relations used to be (still are?) conducted offshore. Tribunals? Who needs them?

  21. Stephen

    Just like that Carling add...

    Everyone stranded out in the freezing cold, "Its Christmas lets go outside", *WHACK* "You know who your friends are..."


  22. Gerrit Tijhof
    Paris Hilton


    So: are there vacancies? (starts cleaning up resumee)

  23. Anonymous Coward

    No wonder this happens

    A guy I once met had visited the Russian Antarctic base (was it Vostok?). The russian guys working there were happily intoxicated by alcohol most all the time. In that state they succesfully handled the precious ice cores from the boreholes they drilled from glaciers for scientific study. Outside their base there were two storage tanks, but only the first was for petrol as the other was for vodka.

    When you think about the possible leisure activities there, it is a small wonder such a bunch of hairy men dont concentrate on the essentials even more.

  24. Jon Tocker

    The reason is obvious...

    As they were Americans, they were obviously arguing about whether the place is pronounced "An-tarc-tic-a" or "An-art-ic-a".

    And before the Americans start flaming, have a good listen to some of the actors in your movies some day.

    Mine's the Asbestos coat on the near hook, thanks.

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