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

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid