Wednesday, April 16, 2014   

China icebreaker sails to join other vessels assisting research ship trapped off Antarctica
(12-27 11:35)

A icebreaker from China was due to reach the frozen seas where a scientific mission ship is trapped off Antarctica, as those onboard welcomed the easing of blizzard conditions.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the rescue of the Russian passenger ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, said the vessel had experienced strong winds and limited visibility.
The ship carrying 74 people, has been trapped in ice about 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont D'Urville since Tuesday.
Three boats with icebreaking capability have diverted to try to help free it, with the Chinese vessel Snow Dragon expected to reach the area later today.
The French vessel L'Astrolabe and the Australian Antarctic Division's Aurora Australis are also assisting.
Chris Fogwill, one of the scientists on the Akademik Shokalskiy, the vessel is well stocked with food and is in no danger.
The ship, which is in the Australian Search and Rescue region, 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.—AFP

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