Lovesick Chinese sailors throw bottled notes into Antarctic Ocean

BEIJING (AFP) - Lovesick crew members on the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long marked Valentine's Day by throwing bottled notes into the pristine wilderness of the Antarctic Ocean, state media reported on Wednesday.

The vessel, also known as Snow Dragon, is on a scientific mission to Antarctica and last month took part in the rescue of personnel from a stranded Russian ship.

The 10 men, in white full dress uniform, tossed the bulb-shaped glass bottles into the icy waters on Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said.

A picture showed one of the bottles, labelled with a couple's names and "eternal love", containing a roll of paper.

According to the report in another note, Mr Chen Xiaodong, who left behind his wife and then nine-month-old son when he boarded last year, wrote: "A burning-hot heart is thinking of you in the blizzards in the Antarctica. I love you, my wife."

The Xue Long left Shanghai in November, with its mission's tasks including building China's fourth Antarctic research station, and is due to return home in April.

China is increasing its footprint in Antarctica, and says it is interested in the peaceful use of the frozen continent's resources.

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