Posted on | December 30, 2013 | 56 Comments
Ship crew who have been stuck in 5 metres of ice for days prepare an ice helipad for rescuers http://t.co/9k6esXzwC2
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) December 30, 2013
It probably seemed like an excellent idea: Load a bunch of tourists and journalists aboard a ship for an expedition to Antarctica in December (the height of summer at the South Pole) so they can see for themselves how global warming is melting the ice.
Most of the passengers and some of the crew stranded on a scientific expedition ship off Antarctica will be evacuated by a Chinese helicopter should the weather allow, Russian authorities say.
“A decision has been reached to evacuate 52 passengers and four crew members by helicopter from China’s Xue Long ship, should the weather allow,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
The Russian-flagged MV Akademik Shokalskiy has been stuck on an ice field since last week with 74 people on board. The multinational passenger list includes scientists as well as tourists and crew.
Snow gusts that severely hampered visibility on Monday forced the icebreaker Aurora Australis to turn around, passengers aboard the stricken MV Akademik Shokalskiy had been told to prepare for the “worst case scenario”. . . .
The expedition is being led by University of NSW Professor Chris Turney who continues to post updates on social media.
Try not to laugh at their ridiculous misfortune:
After nearly a week trapped by deep Antarctic ice, the 74 passengers aboard an expedition vessel could soon be freed.
An Australian icebreaker ship Aurora Australis is 28 nautical miles away from the Russian-flagged Akademik Shokalskiy and is waiting for snow showers to pass, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
The Aurora Australis needs better visibility before trying to break through the ice and reach the stranded vessel.
This attempt follows the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, which was just six nautical miles away from the trapped vessel when it couldn’t get any closer due to unusually thick ice.
With 3rd icebreaker unable to reach ship stuck in ice, plans being made to evacuate passengers via helicopter: http://t.co/m1VfPur5k3
— ABC News (@ABC) December 30, 2013
Special thanks to Susan Rector on Twitter for the joke I stole.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) December 30, 2013