Watch as stranded passengers get rescued from marooned Antarctic ship
Passengers stranded for more than a week in Antarctic ice were rescued Thursday by a Chinese helicopter. Raw video by AP
Fifty-two passengers were rescued Thursday from a Russian research vessel stuck in the ice in Antarctica.
After several failed attempts by numerous icebreaker ships to reach the stranded MV Akademik Shokalskiy, a helicopter that arrived with the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long ferried the scientists, journalists and tourists -- a dozen at a time -- several miles across the icy landscape to the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis. The passengers will be transported via the vessel to Tasmania, with an expected arrival of mid-January.
The research vessel had been stranded since Dec. 24 near Cape de La Motte, after strong winds surrounded it with pack ice. The ship had been on a planned monthlong voyage to study the east Antarctic environment as part of a centennial celebration of Australian geologist Douglas Mawson's survey. The 22-member crew, who say they were stocked for a long voyage, will stay with the ship until conditions allow it to move from its maroonment.
Chris Turney, one of the scientists aboard the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, updated the rescue on Twitter and posted several videos via Vine:
Helicopter flying over to check out helipad. May be leaving in an hour! #spiritofmawson— Chris Turney (@ProfChrisTurney) January 2, 2014