Icebound Russian Ship Set to be Rescued by Saturday
A Russian ship carrying 74 passengers has been stranded in the icy water mass of Antarctica since Tuesday.
Strong winds through the ice-covered water caused The MV Akademik Shokalskiy to become trapped near Stillwell Island, far south of Hobart, Tasmania.
What started on November 28 as a commemorated voyage dedicated to the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic voyage led by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson has become a five-day wait for the travelers.
The Akademik Shokalskiy initially departed from New Zealand with both Russian and Australian passengers aboard. Many passengers are tourists helping scientists with an experiment.
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement today that a Chinese icebreaker is expected to reach the explorers by tomorrow.
The Snow Dragon icebreaker was sent out by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and is said to be traveling at a very cautious speed, 15 nautical miles from the ship.
On Twitter, Australian professor Chris Turney, announced the rescue.
“Great news: Icebreaker Snow Dragon on Horizon with penguins! Everyone very happy!” he said.
Turney, who also helped to arrange the voyage, posted a YouTube video excitedly sharing its slow arrival upon the horizon.
— Chris Turney (@ProfChrisTurney) December 27, 2013
According to the captain who has stayed in contact with the Russian Embassy, the crew members are safe and unharmed.
Despite the interruption to the expedition, the scientists will continue with their research even after they’re freed.