Stranded Antarctica Ship: 52 Passengers Rescued

All 52 passengers from the stranded Antarctica ship have been rescued after being stranded for more than a week. Reports state that all passengers were airlifted by helicopter off the ship and taken to the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis.

CNN reported that the helicopter involved in the rescue came from a nearby Chinese icebreaker. The whole ordeal began on Christmas Eve after the “Russian-flagged” MV Akademik Shokalskiy got stuck in unusually thick ice. Previous attempts to rescue those on the ship had been postponed due to bad weather conditions.

A total of 74 people were on the ship when it got stuck, and included scientists, tourists, and the ship’s crew. According to ABC News, 22 members of the crew are expected to remain with the vessel. The AMSA stated that the ship has weeks’ worth of supplies on board and is in no danger of sinking, so the crew members should be safe.

The Inquisitr reported earlier on the trapped Antarctica ship, stating that other attempts to help the ship were foiled due to bad weather and ice conditions. Though the ship had been trapped for nearly five days at that point, hopes remained high.

“The vessel is fine, it’s safe and everyone on board is very well,” expedition leader Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at University of New South Wales in Australia told CNN. “Morale is really high.”

Once the Chinese helicopter arrived and started transporting the tourists and scientists off the ship, moral rose to an even greater height. Robert Darvill, chief mate on the Aurora Australis, told CNN “that the 52 new passengers on board were very happy to be there and kept thanking the icebreaker’s crew for their efforts. They are on their second dinner of the night right now.”

We’ve made it to the Aurora australis safe & sound. A huge thanks to the Chinese & @AusAntarctic for all their hard work! #spiritofmawson

— Chris Turney (@ProfChrisTurney) January 2, 2014

[Image via Unspoken Cinema]