A woman suffered a badly broken leg during an accident on a large, heavy-duty inflatable vehicle called a "Zodiac" Monday during a trip to Antarctica in which participants included Shawnee County Treasurer Larry Mah and his wife, Ann Mah, Kansas State Board of Education member.
"They couldn’t helicopter (the woman) out in the weather, and she needs attention the boat can’t provide," Ann Mah wrote on her Facebook page. "So we are headed back to Ushuaia, Argentina."
She added, "Prayers for the injured passenger and guidance for the crew!"
The Drake passage, a body of water between South America's Cape Horn, Chile, and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, was mentioned in a message Larry Mah sent out Tuesday on his Facebook page.
"There was a major accident with a Zodiac with injuries," he wrote. "Evacuation options are limited, and the weather is deteriorating. So, we are returning to Ushuaia (Argentina) at top speed. The Drake Channel has gale force winds (30-60 MPH) with waves 15-20 feet high. The next 600 miles is going to be a very rough ride!!"
Larry Mah wrote about 6 a.m. Wednesday that the boat carrying the couple had finished going through the Drake passage after "a VERY rough ride" and was expected to arrive in Ushaia later that morning.
He posted shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday: "The plan was to return to Ushuaia to evacuate the injured passenger. Then tour the Chilean coast for the next few days. Unfortunately, the ship hit a rough wave in the Drake Channel and sustained significant damage so we will be getting off the ship in Ushuaia."
Mahs are both local public officials
Larry Mah, a Democrat, is in his third term as Shawnee County treasurer, having taken office in 2013.
Ann Mah, also a Democrat, has served since 2017 on the Kansas State Board of Education. She previously held the 53rd District seat from 2005 to 2013 in the Kansas House of Representatives.
The two have recently shared information on their Facebook pages about a trip they're taking to South America, which included a planned excursion to Antarctica.
Ann Mah wrote on her Facebook page that she had "no idea what comes next" after Monday's accident.
"In the meantime we have a cozy boat with a well-stocked kitchen and bar to keep us busy until we dock tomorrow," she wrote.
Contact Tim Hrenchir at email@example.com or 785-213-5934.
This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Larry and Ann Mah take Antarctica trip on which woman is badly hurt