Antarctic rescue operations complete - Soundings Online

Antarctic rescue operations complete

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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed Wednesday that the Akademik Shokalskiy and the Xue Long have broken free from the ice in Antarctica and are no longer in need of assistance.

The United States Coast Guard ice breaker Polar Star has been released from search and rescue tasking by AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC Australia) and will now continue on its original mission to McMurdo Sound.

Tuesday night, RCC Australia received a message from the Captain of the Akademik Shokalskiy stating that about three hours earlier cracks had started to open in the ice around the trapped vessel.

A short time later the Akademik Shokalskiy began to make slow movements in an attempt to break free from surrounding ice and about 30 minutes later that the ship had managed to successfully clear the area containing the heaviest ice and had begun making slow progress north through lighter ice conditions.

Click here for the official Australian Maritime Safety Authority press release and click here for a report by CNN.