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Russian fishing boat sinking in Antarctic waters

A Russian fishing vessel with 32 crewmembers was taking on water Friday near Antarctica. Heavy sea ice was hampering rescue efforts and officials said it could be four or five days before anybody reaches the ship to try to rescue the crew.

The Sparta was listing at 13 degrees next to the Antarctic ice shelf in the Ross Sea, according to Maritime New Zealand. The agency said that the crew was safe and was throwing cargo overboard to lighten the ship, and that some of the crew had boarded lifeboats as a precaution.

The ship has a 1-foot hole in the hull about five feet below the water line, the agency said.

Click here for the full report.

Meanwhile, also in that part of the world, Maritime New Zealand has also advised that the condition of the wrecked container ship Rena, perched precariously on New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef, is continuing to deteriorate.

Ahead of forecasts of more bad weather, it said that divers had identified changes to the buckling plates on the starboard side of the ship.

Container salvage has been hampered this week by a combination of weather and technical issues with the barge crane. To date, only 206 boxes have been removed, leaving 1,076 containers still on board.

Click here for that full report and click here for the official press releases on both incidents from Maritime New Zealand.