Antarctic Explorers’ Tense Wait for Rescue
“The wind conditions have also been putting a lot of strain on one side of the ship — we’ve had blizzards and wind speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour,” Turney added. “The build-up of ice on one side has given it quite a tilt, of four or five degrees. This might not sound a lot but you can really feel it when walking down the corridors.”
He said although the team has been able to carry on with some of its scientific work while waiting for three ice-breaking ships headed toward their location, their situation has not been without its complications.
Sea ice can build up at a fast rate because of the high winds in Antarctica. When Turney and his team first realized there were no open channels left through the ice, they were only about two nautical miles (about 2.3 miles) from open water.
But before the first ice-breaking ship, the Chinese vessel Snow Dragon, arrived on Friday more than 20 miles of ice had built up around them.