Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Desperate Seas: Migrant Deaths Crossing Mediterranean Top 3,000 in 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

'All is Well' for Lisa Simone

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

EU questions Apple's tax deals in Ireland

Read more

FOCUS

The Iraqi TV show where victims confront terrorists

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Syrian student risks her life to film IS group stronghold

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Forgotten and fictional sports

Read more

DEBATE

Modi in America: India's Prime minister on triumphant US tour

Read more

DEBATE

Hong Kong protests: Pro-democracy movement gets global support

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

China censors Hong Kong protests on social media

Read more

Asia-pacific

All passengers rescued from stranded Antarctic ship

© AFP

Video by Richelle HARRISON PLESSE , Catherine VIETTE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-02

Officials on Thursday confirmed that all passengers on board an icebound Russian ship have been successfully evacuated after spending more than a week waiting for rescue teams to reach them in the Antarctic.

The 52 scientists and tourists were airlifted by a helicopter belonging to a Chinese icebreaker and brought on to an Australian supply ship.

"Aurora Australis has advised AMSA that the 52 passengers from the Akademik Shokalskiy are now on board," the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which oversaw the rescue, said.

Passengers were airlifted from a makeshift landing pad on the ice beside the Russian ship to an ice floe near the Australis.

The 22 crew members are expected to stay with their icebound ship, which is not in danger, until the ice breaks up and the Shokalskiy can sail on under her own steam again.

The vessel has been trapped in thick pack ice 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont d'Urville since December 24, with several icebreakers forced back to open water by impenetrable floes.

A helicopter rescue was announced on Tuesday, but heavy rain and winds saw it shelved until Thursday morning, when a second attempt was foiled by unfavourable sea ice.

Expedition leader Chris Turney expressed relief that the wait was finally over.

"We've made it to the Aurora Australis safe and sound. A huge thanks to the Chinese and the (government's) Australian Antarctic Division for all their hard work," Turney tweeted.

The Aurora will carry the passengers to the Australian island state of Tasmania, arriving by mid-January.

The scientific team on board had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson’s 1911 to 1913 voyage to Antarctica. Turney had hoped to continue the trip if an icebreaker managed to free the ship.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)


 

Date created : 2014-01-02

  • ANTARCTICA

    Bad weather foils Antarctic ship rescue mission

    Read more

  • SAILING

    Antarctic cruise ship rescues stranded French sailor

    Read more

  • ANTARCTICA

    French research team killed in Antarctic helicopter crash

    Read more

COMMENT(S)