Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

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)