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Antarctic ship rescue set to begin: Maritime authority

Published on Jan 2, 2014 6:07 AM
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The MV Akademik Shokalskiy is pictured stranded in ice in Antarctica, on Dec 29, 2013. An attempt to rescue passengers from the stricken Russian ship is set to begin shortly, Australia's maritime authority said on Jan 2, 2013, after weather conditions improved. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - An attempt to rescue passengers from a stricken Russian ship in the Antarctic is set to begin shortly, Australia's maritime authority said on Thursday, after weather conditions improved.

The Akademik Shokalskiy, carrying 74 passengers and crew, has not moved since it became trapped about 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont d'Urville on Dec 24.

Efforts to free it using icebreaking ships have failed, with the Australian government's supply ship Aurora Australis admitting on Tuesday it was unable to reach the marooned vessel, forcing a more complex helicopter rescue.

Attempts to hold an airborne rescue were called off on Wednesday because of adverse weather conditions.

 
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