Akademik Shokalskiy and Xue Long break free from Antarctic ice

Four days after Turney’s tourists abandoned ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese icebreaker Xue Long have broken free from the ice they were trapped in.

BBC:The Russian research ship Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese icebreaker Xue Long have broken free from Antarctic ice where they had been stranded for several days.

The Russian ship’s captain said a crack had appeared in the ice after a change in wind direction. The Akademik Shokalskiy got stuck on 25 December. It has a Russian crew of 22. On Thursday, the Xue Long’s helicopter ferried 52 passengers from the stranded Russian ship to an Australian vessel. The Xue Long then became stuck itself on Friday.

“We’re going slowly and zig-zagging, we’ve already moved more than 20 [nautical] miles,” Captain Igor Kiselyov of the Russian ship told Itar-Tass news agency. “It’s tough going so far, a lot of mist, visibility is no more than 500 metres,” he said. He confirmed that the Chinese ship was also moving and that Akademik Shokalskiy was just north of it. “It may catch up with us – in that case, we’ll follow in its wake. But if not, we’ll get out together, independently,” he said.

All’s well that end well but Turney’s preceding comedy of errors will not be soon forgotten.

It looks like the services of the US icebreaker Polar Star will not be required.

Was all the ballyhoo from the heroic expeditioners truly necessary?

Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: