Crew of stranded Russian ship near Antarctica to be rescued via helicopter

By Kyle Johnson,

Once the weather clears up enough, the crew aboard the stranded Russian research vessel, MV Akademik Shokalskiy, will be picked up using a helicopter.

The Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, icebreaker had tried to rescue the stranded ship, which got stuck due to thickening ice off Antartica, but it too was unable to make progress because of weather conditions.

No one aboard the Russian vessel was in any danger for the time being due to having adequate supplies. Some aboard have been keeping track of their time on the vessel through social media and claim to be in high spirits.

Luckily, USA Today reports, the Chinese icebreaker also had a helicopter and is only 6.7 nautical miles away.

The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement saying, "A decision has been reached to evacuate 52 passengers and four crew members by helicopter from China's Xue Long ship, should the weather allow."

Another icebreaker, the Aurora Australis, sent out once the Xue Long was stopped, too has been unable to make progress due to poor weather conditions. Australis got within 10 nautical miles before turning back and remains about 18 miles away.


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