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Old 01-01-14, 16:03   #1
 
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Arrow Right Ice Foils Rescue of Russian Ship (With Photos) Stranded in Antarctica


An iceberg off Antarctica, where 74 people on a research expedition await rescue by Australian authorities.


SYDNEY/MOSCOW A Chinese icebreaker trying to reach a Russian ship trapped in Antarctica has been halted by thick ice within sight of the stricken vessel and an Australian ship was now trying to help, an Australian maritime rescue agency said on Saturday.

The Snow Dragon was one of three icebreakers sent to free the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which became stranded far south of Tasmania on Tuesday in ice driven by strong winds.

"Since the thick ice exceeds the ship's icebreaking capabilities and an upcoming cyclone will exacerbate icy conditions, we have to temporarily stall the ship," Snow Dragon captain Wang Jianzhong told the Xinhua news agency.

The trapped ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, left New Zealand on Nov. 28 on a privately funded expedition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey led by famed Australian explorer Douglas Mawson.

The ship's 74 passengers include scientists and tourists, many of them Australian, and what the Russian Foreign Ministry said were 22 Russian crew members.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is coordinating the rescue, told Reuters that the Snow Dragon would remain on standby until the Australian icebreaker the Aurora Australis reaches the MV Akademik Shokalskiy.

The Snow Dragon has a helicopter on board that can be used to rescue passengers if the Aurora Australis cannot break through the ice, said AMSA spokeswoman Lisa Martin.

"The Aurora Australis is expected to arrive at the scene Sunday evening. It's pretty slow going out there," Martin said.

The third icebreaker, a French-flagged ship, is no longer involved in the rescue.

Chris Turney, an Australian professor who helped organize the voyage on the Russian ship, earlier posted a photograph apparently showing the Chinese vessel, a speck on the horizon beyond an expanse of ice.
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Old 02-01-14, 17:55   #2
 
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Default re: Ice Foils Rescue of Russian Ship (With Photos) Stranded in Antarctica

Here is some photos of the stranded Russian ship.



The MV Akademik Shokalskiy is pictured stranded in ice in Antarctica, December 29, 2013. Fog and heavy snow mean the 74 passengers on the Russian ship stranded in Antarctica for over a week are likely to ring in the New Year trapped in the ice, as a rescue helicopter on a nearby Chinese ship waits for the weather to clear. The helicopter on board the Snow Dragon will be used after an Australian icebreaker failed to reach the trapped Akademik Shokalskiy, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said. The Russian ship left New Zealand on November 28 on a privately funded expedition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey led by famed Australian explorer Douglas Mawson.


A crew member of the Akademik Shokalskiy walks on the snow-covered aft deck of the stranded ship in the Antarctic, December 29, 2013.


Barbara Tucker, a passenger aboard the trapped ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, looks at an Adelie penguin walking by on the ice off East Antarctica December 29, 2013, some 100 nautical miles east of French Antarctic station Dumont D'Urville and about 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Tasmania.


Nicole De Losa, a passenger on board the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, waves to a helicopter sent from the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long (Snow Dragon) to assess ice conditions around the Russian ship in East Antarctica, December 29, 2013.


A thin coat of snow covers the deck of the trapped ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy in East Antarctica, December 29, 2013.


The Xue Long (Snow Dragon) Chinese icebreaker sits in the ice pack unable to get through to the MV Akademik Shokalskiy in East Antarctica, December 28, 2013.
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