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​Antarctic break: Russian, Chinese stranded ships navigate out of ice trap

Published time: January 07, 2014 12:50
Edited time: January 07, 2014 13:42
This image taken by expedition doctor Andrew Peacock of www.footloosefotography.com on December 30, 2013 shows the ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy still stuck in the ice off East Antarctica, as it waits to be rescued. (AFP Photo)

This image taken by expedition doctor Andrew Peacock of www.footloosefotography.com on December 30, 2013 shows the ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy still stuck in the ice off East Antarctica, as it waits to be rescued. (AFP Photo)

A Russian-built ship stranded in the Antarctic ice has started moving away from the ice fields after a change of wind cleared its path. A Chinese icebreaker, which was caught herself on the way to rescue the vessel, has already reached clear waters.

The ‘Akademik Shokalskiy’ research ship, which left the port of Bluff in New Zealand on December 8 with 52 passengers and 22 crew members onboard, got stuck in Antarctic ice on December 24. Chinese, Australian and French icebreakers tried to rescue her, but none of them managed, and the Chinese vessel herself got stuck.

The passengers on the vessel were evacuated last Thursday by helicopter to the Australian Aurora Australis, while crew members stayed behind.

Luckily, as the weather changed the danger threatening the trapped vessels decreased.

“The situation is favorable now. First, the wind changed direction from an Easterly to a North-Westerly, which changed the direction of ice drift. A large crack formed in the ice, and the ship is now navigating it,” Yury Volgov, director of the Far-Eastern Hydrometeorology Research Institute, which owns the Academician Shokalsky, told media.

The ship may escape the clutches of the ice field quite soon, ship captain Igor Kiselyov said.

“We are sailing at low speed, changing courses. We’ve traveled 20 miles so far. It’s difficult so far, with dense fog and visibility no further than 500 meters. But the ice is thinner and broken here, so we’re moving,” he said.

Favorable winds also helped Chinese icebreaker, Xue Long, (Snow Dragon), which attempted to reach the Russian vessel, but got stuck in the ice as well. The Xue Long's movement became blocked by a drifting kilometer-long iceberg, which constantly changed position.

According to Xinhua news agency, the ship with 101 crew on board has already reached waters free from ice.

American vessel the Polar Star, the US Coast Guard's only active heavy polar icebreaker, was sent to the rescue as well and is expected to arrive at the end of this week.

Comments (19)

 

Victor Bahzad 27.01.2014 07:19

Andrew Jones 09.01.2014 14:43


ATM CO2 is 0.04%.. That is the trace gas plants need to breathe in order to stay alive and grow! Where else do they farm carbon from?

  


Numb nuts, Atmospheric CO2 is actually 0.0004%
0.04% would be 40,000ppm

If your not even capable of doing simple math then how are we to expect you to even understand what those numbers mean? Let alone understand how something as complex as global climate works.

 

Andrew Jones 09.01.2014 14:43

Anyone who mentions CO2 here has already lost the argument. Two powerful ships stuck far from where a wooden sailing boat made shore in 1912.
The poster (a loony) who says the Earth needs oxygen... Why are you wasting it then? In fact you can stop your family from wasting it too. End them.
ATM CO2 is 0.04%.. That is the trace gas plants need to breathe in order to stay alive and grow! Where else do they farm carbon from?

 

Paul Felix Schott 09.01.2014 04:41

OUR Planets Atmosphere needs Oxygen with the decline of it the world's health will decline, as like some of the
not so smart gov payed Scientist. Some that will do or say anything for $$$$$.
Once the days start gettig shorter the cooler it will get and longer days warmer, most all fifth graders and every framer on Earth knows this.
IF they had know better and had a brain like a Scientist to go with the tital of one they carry they would have known,
that the Sea Ice is going to grow at a Record Pace with Shorter Days.

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