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Helicopter set to rescue passengers aboard stranded Antarctic ship Akademik Shokalskiy


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Helicopter set to rescue passengers aboard stranded Antarctic ship Akademik Shokalskiy

A helicopter is set to rescue 52 passengers and four crew members on a Russian ship stranded in the Antarctic after earlier attempts to free them were hampered by bad weather.

Scientific research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy has been stuck in sea ice off the coast of Antarctica – 185 kilometres east of Dumont D’Urville – since Christmas Day.

The ship is carrying 74 people, including scientists, tourists and crew. They are said to be in good spirits with ample food supplies.

Russia said on Monday Chinese ship the Snow Dragon would send a helicopter. It had attempted a rescue by sea, but this was halted due to thick ice. A similar attempt by Australian icebreaker The Aurora Australis was also thwarted because of blizzards.

The trapped passengers originally planned to trace the journey Australian explorer Douglas Mawson took a hundred years ago.

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