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Published on : Wednesday, December 25, 2013
An Antarctic-bound cruise liner with tourists onboard is awaiting rescue after the ship got trapped in thick sheets of sea ice. The MV Akademik Shokalskiy is a Russian-built ship which is on a tourist trip with about 50 passengers onboard and 20 crew members.
The ship started its journey from New Zealand to visit several sites along the edge of Antarctica. A distress call was received by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on Christmas morning, notifying the rescue co-ordination centre that the ship was trapped in ice and would need help.
According to reports, ‘everyone is safe on board’ and ‘the vessel isn’t in any immediate danger’. Three ships had been sent to assist but it would take at least two days for the nearest vessel to reach the remote location.
The ship’s voyage is part of a research expedition to commemorate the centenary of Douglas Mawson’s exploration.