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

(Newser) – 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.

The Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia.
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)
Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia.
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)
Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia.
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)
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