Rescue 2 Days Off for Antarctic Cruise Stranded in Ice

Passengers said to be in high spirits nonetheless

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 26, 2013 9:00 AM CST

(Newser) – An Antarctic adventure cruise has become stuck in ice after a storm, and rescue ships are at least two days away—but to judge from the dispatches from the ship, the people aboard don't seem to mind. The Akademik Shokalskiy sent out a distress call yesterday, News.com.au reports, but a spokesman for the Spirit of Mawson, which organized the voyage, says the Russian ship is "reinforced against ice and well adapted to the conditions." The ship is believed to have enough provisions aboard to hold out.

Reports differ on how many people are aboard—News.com.au says there are 50 tourists and 20 crew, while ABC has the numbers at 35 and 22—but those "tourists" include scientists, explorers, and historians. "We're in the ice like the explorers of old! All are well and spirits are high. Happy Christmas," the expedition leader tweeted. In a blog post, the ship said it was just two nautical miles from open sea, but powerless to get closer. The timing of the storm was actually fairly fortuitous though; if it had struck earlier, it might have caught the adventurers in the middle of a nearly 40-mile hike across pack ice.

The Akademik Shokalskiy is seen in this file photo.   (Wikimedia/Caesura)
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