52 Rescued From Stranded Antarctic Ship

Ship will now transport them to Tasmania
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2014 2:53 AM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2014 6:04 AM CST
Antarctic Rescue Mission Begins
The Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia.   (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock)

Help has finally arrived for 52 tourists and scientists who have been trapped on a ship stranded in Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve. A Chinese helicopter has ferried the adventurers in batches to the Aurora Australis ship that will bring them out out of Antarctic waters and to Tasmania by mid-January, reports the AP. The MV Akademik Shokalskiy's 22 crew members are expected to stay on board the icebound vessel, the BBC notes.

"We've made it to the Aurora australis safe & sound. A huge thanks to the Chinese & @AusAntarctic for all their hard work!," tweeted the expedition leader, who had hoped to re-create Australian explorer Douglas Mawson's 1911 to 1913 voyage to Antarctica. The successful rescue operation follows days of failed attempts, including one by a Chinese icebreaker that got stuck in the ice itself. (More Akademik Shokalskiy stories.)

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