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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid