Antarctic Rescue: Chinese Ship Xue Long ‘Stuck in Ice’
The Chinese ice-breaker that helped rescue passengers stranded on the Akademik Shokalskiy vessel in Antarctica is now stuck itself.
An Australian ice-breaker carrying the rescued passengers is no longer on standby and is returning to shore.
On Thursday, a helicopter from the Chinese ship, Xue Long, transferred 52 passengers from the Akademik Shokalskiy to the Aurora Australis.
The Russian boat has been trapped by thick floes of ice since 24 December.
“Xue Long’s attempt to manoeuvre through the ice… was unsuccessful. Xue Long has confirmed to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) [that] it is beset by ice,” Amsa said in a statement on Saturday.
“The master of Xue Long has confirmed to Amsa that the ship is safe, it is not in distress and does not require assistance at this time,” Amsa said, adding that there was no immediate danger to the ice-breaker’s crew.