Rescue of stranded Antarctic ship stalls

A Chinese icebreaker has failed to reach a scientific expedition vessel trapped off Antarctica, stalling the rescue mission after it was unable to break through thick ice, Australian maritime authorities said Saturday.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is coordinating the rescue of the Russian passenger ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, said the icebreaker came within six-and-a-half nautical miles of the ship but had to stop.

"The Chinese vessel unfortunately encountered some heavy ice that it's not capable of breaking through," AMSA spokeswoman Andrea Hayward-Maher told AFP.

"So unfortunately it won't be able to continue through to the Akademik Shokalskiy. It's making its way back."

"The rescue. . .unfortunately has stalled."

The Russian ship, with 74 people on board, has been trapped in ice about 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont D'Urville since Tuesday.

Three vessels with icebreaking capability, including Australia's Antarctic resupply ship Aurora Australis, have headed to the area to attempt to rescue the vessel.

It is not yet clear whether the Aurora Australis, which has the highest icebreaking rating of the three and is not due in the area until Sunday, will be able to go any further than the Chinese vessel, the Snow Dragon.

AMSA said other options would be discussed Saturday, including whether authorities could use a helicopter onboard the Snow Dragon to bring the passengers to safety during the current favourable weather.

The ship is carrying scientists and tourists who are following the Antarctic path of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson a century ago.

They have been carrying out the same scientific experiments his team conducted during the 1911-1914 Australian Antarctic Expedition – the first large-scale Australian-led scientific expedition to the frozen continent.

Several members of the team have already battled sea ice to reach the historic Mawson's Huts – built and occupied by the 1911-1914 expedition – which have been isolated for years by a giant iceberg.

The group became stuck when unexpected weather forced their ship into heavy ice and since becoming stranded have sat through an intense blizzard which appears to have increased the build up of ice around them.

One of the scientists onboard, Chris Turney, said the team had been attempting to update the scientific records made by Mawson's group a century ago – records which he said have become crucial in charting signs of global warming.

They had planned to return to New Zealand by early January. — Agence France-Presse

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China breaks ground on lighthouse project in South China Sea

    China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark ... …

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

  • Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

    By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's common …

  • Want to buy a brand new car?
    Want to buy a brand new car?

    Tired of fixing your old car? Maybe, this is the best time for you to invest a brand new car. BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo until June 30, 2015 which allows potential car buyers to avail of a car loan term up […] The post Want to buy a brand new car? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options