News / Europe

Blizzard Stalls Antarctica Ship Rescue

People gather on the ice next the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy that is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Dec. 27, 2013.
People gather on the ice next the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy that is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Dec. 27, 2013.
VOA News
An Antarctic blizzard has halted an Australian icebreaker's attempt to retrieve 74 people on board a Russian research ship.

The ship has been trapped for nearly a week in ice, while high winds prevent a helicopter rescue. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the rescue, said Monday that the icebreaker Aurora Australis had to return to open waters because of poor visibility.

A Chinese icebreaker, Snow Dragon, was sent to free the vessel and came within 11 kilometers of the stranded Russian ship on Saturday, but had to stop when thick ice blocked its progress.

  • The MV Akademik Shokalskiy is pictured stranded in ice in Antarctica, Dec. 29, 2013.
  • A crew member of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy walks on the snow-covered aft deck of the stranded ship in the Antarctic, Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Barbara Tucker, a passenger aboard the MV Akademik Shokalskiy looks at an Adelie penguin walking by on the ice, Antarctica,  Dec. 29, 2013.
  • A thin coat of snow covers the deck of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, Antarctica, Dec. 29, 2013.
  • 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, Antarctica, Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Antarctica, Dec. 27, 2013. 
  • People gather on the ice next to the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy which is trapped in thick ice, Antarctica, Dec. 27, 2013.
  • Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick ice, East Antarctica, Dec. 27, 2013. 
  • Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Dec. 27, 2013. 

If the Australian vessel fails to break through the 3-meter-thick ice, a helicopter on the Chinese ship could be used to evacuate the passengers on the trapped vessel. But the storm has grounded the helicopter for the time being.

The Russian ship is carrying 74 people, including an Australian research expedition, tourists and crew members. The ship became frozen in an ice flow near the South Pole on Tuesday. Officials say the vessel is not in danger of sinking.

Route of MV Akademik ShokalskiyRoute of MV Akademik Shokalskiy


In a video posted on Twitter Saturday, members of the Australian research team said they could see the Snow Dragon on the horizon.

The Russian ship, which left New Zealand on November 28, was trying to recreate Australian explorer Douglas Mawson's century-old voyage to Antarctica.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid