Help on the way for ship stranded off Antarctica
The outcome of the latest rescue attempt for an Australian science team whose cruise ship became trapped in ice off Antarctica on Christmas Day could be determined within hours, authorities said on Sunday.
The Australian icebreaker Aurora Austalis headed toward the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, a Russian ship with 74 people aboard. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which was heading up the rescue operation, said a Chinese ship tasked by the Royal Coast Guard Australia remained in the vicinity to assist if needed. The Chinese ship was equipped with a helicopter in case the Aurora Australis was unable to reach the stranded ship.
RCC Australia, the search and rescue authority responsible for the area, said it was in regular contact with the Akademik Shokalskiy, adding that everyone was reported to be safe and well.
“It's hard to tell if it makes it through,” said Lisa Martin, a spokeswoman for AMSA. “There are snow showers in the area that are causing bad visibility; conditions are deteriorating.”
The passengers include 22 crew and 52 tourists, scientists and explorers. The ship, which left New Zealand last month, is on a special research voyage to honor the 100th anniversary of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson.
Expedition leader Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at Australia's University of New South Wales, has been tweeting and blogging the trip. He tweeted at 4 p.m. Sunday: “Wind picked and it's snowing as forecast for this am Good news: Aurora making attempt from E!”
The cruise ship, stuck about 1,500 miles south of Hobart, Tasmania, has not sustained damage. Morale remains high and passengers have ample provisions, Turney has written.
The search and rescue operation began on Christmas morning when Britain's Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Center received a distress message via satellite from the Akademik Shokalskiy.
The distress message and subsequent coordination of the incident were passed to RCC Australia.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mom of Canada suspect: I cry for victims, not son
- Canadians more fearful, aware after ‘very rare’ attack in Ottawa
- American baby killed, 8 hurt as car plows into crowd at Jerusalem train station