Oddly Enough

Christmas fun in Antarctica gets out of hand

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A groping Santa, a drunken car chase, a bloody punchout. Festivities in Antarctica got a little out of hand this Christmas.

Complaints of “inappropriate touching” were made against a Santa who had posed for photographs on a decorated snowmobile at the U.S. McMurdo station, on the edge of the continent, a New Zealand newspaper reported on Wednesday.

That incident was followed by another in which a U.S. staff member, suspected of drink-driving, raced along an icy road in a four-wheel-drive vehicle chased by a fire engine before she was intercepted, said Christchurch-based The Press newspaper, without citing sources.

McMurdo base is home to about 1,000 U.S. scientists and staff during the summer months and is the largest community in Antarctica.

At a different U.S. station at the South Pole a worker had to be flown out to a hospital in Christchurch, over 5000 km (3000 miles) away, after his jaw was broken in a Christmas punchout with a fellow staff member, The Press said.

Both the bad Santa and rogue driver were summoned before their managers while the attacker in the South Pole brawl had been sacked, it said.

Reporting by Kazunori Takada; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani