1967: Volcanic Eruption
In December 1960 with the building of an aircraft hangar, Deception Island became the centre of British Antarctic flight operations. The original Wilkins runway was improved and used for many years by single engine Otters. Deception Island continued as a safe haven for ships, stations and aircraft movements until December 1967 when, following two months of tremors, there was an eruption on the northwest of the volcanic island which dropped ash in the vicinity of the Chilean base at Pendulum Cove. During a lull in the eruptions, the Chileans evacuated their base and made a dash for Whalers Bay.
But no ship dared enter into Port Foster to rescue them. Small helicopters with brave pilots evacuated the 27 Chileans and eight British. Being able to carry only two at a time they transported them onto the Chilean vessel Piloto Pardo.