A Chinese helicopter has been cleared to rescue the passengers stranded aboard a ship by ice in Antarctica. Crew members of the ship “MV Akademik Shokalskiy” have been trapped in 10-foot-deep ice for 15 days. Three previous attempts by ice breaking ships have failed to reach to the stranded Russian ship. A helicopter rescue had been setup, but the mission was fouled by poor weather in Antarctica. Officials of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority have given the helicopter rescue team a 36-hour window to complete the mission.
It will require the helicopter crew from the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long to make seven total trips covering 12 nautical miles to complete the rescue of the 52 passengers part of a research team aboard the ship that has been trapped by ice in Antarctica. Once the passengers from stranded ship have been rescued they will transferred over to the icebreaking ship “Aurora Australis.”Members of the ship Russian “MV Akademik Shokalskiy” have been in pretty good spirits since stranded on the ship surrounded by ice. The ship is stocked with enough food and fuel for a 70 day voyage and researchers aboard the ship have been referring to the situation as a “great adventure.”
Chris Turney a researcher aboard the ship tweeted via Twitter, “Weather improved. Tomorrow looks likely. Massive thanks to Australian, Chinese & French icebreakers for all their hard work!” #spiritofmawson
The ship only fell a measly 10 nautical miles from reaching it ultimate goal on the mission, before being stopped in its tracks by the thick ice. The ship is stranded in ice about 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont D’Urville.
“Chinese Helicopter Cleared To Rescue Passengers of the Stranded Ship in Antarctica”