News / Asia

Rescue Vessel Becomes Stuck on Way to Trapped Antarctic Ship

The Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Dec. 27, 2013.
The Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Dec. 27, 2013.
VOA News
An icebreaker sent to rescue a Russian ship trapped in the Antarctic has itself been stopped by ice.

The captain of the Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon said the ship came within 11 kilometers of the stranded Russian ship, MV Akademik Shokalskiy, but had to stop.

Captain Wang Jiangzhong told reporters it may take the icebreaker another two days to get to the trapped ship. He also acknowledged that if conditions worsen, the Chinese ship may need assistance from another two icebreakers that are headed to the region.

The Russian ship is carrying 74 people, including an Australian research expedition, tourists and crew members. The ship became frozen in an ice flow close to the South Pole on Tuesday, but officials have said the vessel is not in danger of sinking.

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

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

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