Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




ICE WORLD
Scientists aboard ship trapped in the Antarctica ring in New Year
by Staff Writers
Sydney, Australia (AFP) Jan 01, 2014


Passengers are now preparing an area close to the stranded ship for a helicopter landing. AFP/Footloose images

An icebound Russian research vessel rang in the New Year in Antarctica as blizzards delayed a helicopter rescue planned after several icebreaking attempts failed.

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy has been stranded 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont d'Urville for a week, hemmed in by impenetrable pack ice that three separate breakers have been unable to breach.

The Australian government's supply ship Aurora Australis on Monday came within 10 nautical miles of the marooned vessel - which has 74 research scientists, tourists and crew on board - but was forced to turn back by snow showers and freezing winds.

Russia's foreign ministry said a decision had been reached overnight to evacuate all 52 passengers by a helicopter on board the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which remains nearby after its own aborted bid to reach the Akademik Shokalskiy.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is coordinating operations, said severe weather continued to block efforts Tuesday. "This rescue will be a complex operation involving a number of steps and subject to factors such as weather," AMSA said.

"The helicopter is unable to fly in the current weather conditions, and will hold off on the rescue until conditions improve. Weather conditions are unlikely to start improving until tomorrow and decisions related to carrying out the rescue may be made at short notice." AMSA said a landing site had been marked on the ice beside the Russian ship, adding that only passengers and none of the ship's 22 crew would be evacuated.

"The passengers are expected to be rescued by helicopter in groups of 12 and will be initially transported to the Xue Long," AMSA said.

"The Aurora Australis will then use its barge to transfer all 52 passengers on board their vessel. The barge can take up to 22 people at a time." It would be "a couple of weeks" before they were returned to land, with the Aurora Australis needing to head to Australia's Casey Antarctic base to refuel before heading to Hobart with the passengers, AMSA said.

Ship's doctor Andrew Peacock said the passengers were frustrated but "resigned to keep waiting" and trying to keep their spirits high, with a New Year party planned in the ship's bar.

"(We're) passing the time reading, preparing for a possible helicopter evacuation, continuing ocean studies dropping probes beneath the ice, (watching) movies in the auditorium and working on a new song for New Year's Eve celebrations, which will be a nice dinner and time at the bar," Peacock said.

"We know this is a serious event and we are inconveniencing others. We are not morose or upset, just frustrated and we have no option but to settle in and keep morale high." The ship is stocked with two weeks' worth of fresh food and another fortnight of dehydrated rations. But Peacock said drinks were running low, with "just enough alcohol left to celebrate" the arrival of 2014.

"We are preparing for evacuation to a dry ship so a few drinks seems reasonable, but we also have to be ready at a moment's notice for the helicopter arrival so staying sober is important," he said.

Peacock said passengers had been upset by speculation on social media that they were not on a "serious science-based" expedition or had been negligent in some way, which he said could "not be further from the truth."

"We were caught as we left to go north en route to home by a new breakout of ice dragged across to this area by strong southeasterly winds. This was a fairly rare event in this specific location," he said.

"The scientists and passengers are very unhappy about the way this has played out but we can't be expected to just sit and be sad or unhappy," he added, defending upbeat photo and video posts from the ship.

Oceanographer Erik Van Sebille recorded one such log from his cabin Tuesday where he was preparing for evacuation.

"It's really a concept of hurry up and wait. Everything must be ready to go as soon as possible, but in the meantime it's a long, long wait ahead."

.


Related Links
Australian Antarctic Expedition
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Antarctic ship passengers to be evacuated by Chinese helicopter: Russia
Sydney (AFP) Dec 30, 2013
Most passengers and some crew from a scientific expedition ship stranded off Antarctica will be evacuated by helicopter to a Chinese icebreaker if weather conditions improve, Russia said Monday. Authorities decided to resort to the helicopter evacuation after the Aurora Australis rescue icebreaker was forced to retreat in the face of freezing winds and snow showers 10 nautical miles from the ... read more


ICE WORLD
China's moon rover "sleeps" through lunar night

Will the Moon be carved-up?

NASA Releases New Earthrise Simulation Video

Most Chang'e-3 science tools activated

ICE WORLD
ISRO end year on high note after Mars mission

Mars rover Curiosity gets software upgrade, improved capabilities

Mars One mission: one way ticket to new life

Mars Express heading towards daring flyby of Phobos

ICE WORLD
Only lawyers profit as tech giants go to war over patents

Boeing Completes Mission Control Center Interface Test

Working With NASA On The Space Structures Of The Future

Sierra Nevada Completes CCDev2, Begins Dream Chaser Flight Test Program

ICE WORLD
China launches communications satellite for Bolivia

China's moon rover continues lunar survey after photographing lander

China's Yutu "naps", awakens and explores

Deep space monitoring station abroad imperative

ICE WORLD
Station's Replacement Pump Successfully Restarted

Spacewalk ends, ISS fix a success

Spacewalk ends, station fix a success

ISS Crew Set for Tuesday Pump Replacement Spacewalk

ICE WORLD
Boeing, Energia Achieve Mixed Results in Counterclaims

Orbital Launches Completes 40th Consecutive Successful Suborbital Rocket For NASA

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for InSight Mission

Argentina successfully launches research rocket

ICE WORLD
Using an Atmosphere to Weigh a Planet

Gaia Mission Could Help Map Exoplanets

First detection of a predicted unseen exoplanet

Astronomers solve temperature mystery of planetary atmospheres

ICE WORLD
New computer memory can hold data 20 years without power

Scientific data lost at alarming rate

Europe's Gaia telescope detaches from Fregat-MT upper stage

Sailing satellites into safe retirement




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement