Monday, December 30, 2013

Hard Sitting Antarctic ship: Emergency instead thrill in the Arctic Ocean - Times Online

The fixed on board the “Akademik Shokalskiy” polar explorers and tourists should be flown. Still the weather is too bad for a helicopter use.

“Still here, all well – waiting for relief” , that is the most recent entry in the Google map on which the participants of the Australian Antarctic Expedition The Spirit of Mawson daily mark their position in the Southern Ocean. All are still there, all doing well, you wait for rescue.

since Christmas Eve has just changed her status, the position of their ship no more. The good 70-meter-long expedition ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, sailing under the Russian flag, has become bogged down in the eternal ice . The nearest port is 1500 nautical miles, converted so almost 2,800 kilometers removed.


74 people on board are firmly seated in the Commonwealth Bay, in heavy snowstorm and outside temperatures around the freezing point. After several icebreaker had tried in vain to approach the distressed expedition ship, now i only have a rescue by helicopter. But have to wait for the trapped in the ice. Only with better visibility and less stormy weather to helicopter could approach the castaways.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday, the passengers and crew members should be brought by air from on board as soon as the weather permits. Currently is neither life nor the safety of the people on the ship Stuck in danger.

Two journalists of the British Guardian , Alok Jha and Laurence Topham, are on board the ship, which has a working Internet connection. They report daily from the situation on the expedition ship.

Already on the first day of Christmas the crew of the converted for passenger traffic Polar cruiser had become clear that the ship from the thick ice on its own would not escape. She sat up a distress call, whereupon three ships began to move to are the MV Akademik Shokalskiy to help.

first approached on Friday, the giant with about 170 meters long Chinese research vessel Xue Long to German Snow Dragon – the stuck vessel which at this time is a 20-kilometer ice extending from the open sea separated. From the bridge of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy one had been able to see the approaching helpers, which was hoping for a quick recovery. But six kilometers before the finish had to give up the Snow Dragon: where the ice was too thick even for the icebreaker. A French ship that had also taken courses at the scene of the accident, had to give up earlier and turn off.

The Chinese icebreaker stops further on near the stuck vessel. He has a helicopter on board, which could be used for recovery.


now failed another rescue attempt by sea. The nearly 95-meter-long icebreaker Aurora Australis had to turn back because of a heavy snow storm. “Today the weather was shocking,” tweeted expedition leader Chris Turney. While it abolished the Aurora Australis up to ten nautical miles (about 18 km) to the crash site approach. However, the visibility deteriorated such that further travel would have been too dangerous, said the rescue center of the Australian Seesicherheitsbehörde (Amsa) with. The Aurora Australis is to start a new rescue attempt as soon as the weather clears.

Of the 74 people on board the ship built in 1982 in Finland are 50 passengers and 24 crew members. In addition to a team of Australian, New Zealand and British scientists, including marine biologists, botanists and climatologists take 26 tourists participated in the commercial expedition on 8 December had set out from New Zealand towards Antarctica.

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