Friday, Jul 11, 2014Friday, Jul 11, 2014

Chinese ship involved in Antarctic rescue may have been trapped in ice

Published on Jan 3, 2014 2:52 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - A Chinese vessel involved in the rescue of 52 passengers of a Russian ship stranded in Antarctica may have been caught in heavy ice.

Officials tasked with freeing the scientific expedition on the Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been stuck since Dec 24, succeeded in flying them out on Thursday in an on-off rescue operation.

A helicopter from Chinese icebreaker Xue Long used a makeshift landing pad next to the marooned ship and ferried the scientists, tourists and journalists to an Australian government supply vessel, the Aurora Australis.

But it emerged later on Friday that the Chinese ship, which has not moved much for several days, may itself be trapped by thick ice, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here