Thursday, January 2, 2013
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- A helicopter has rescued all 52 passengers from a research ship that's been trapped in Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve. Weather conditions finally cleared enough today for the operation.
A helicopter carried the scientists and tourists from the Russian ship in groups of 12 to an Australian icebreaker. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Coordination Centre oversaw the rescue.
Expedition leader Chris Turney told The Associated Press by satellite phone from the Antarctic, "I think everyone is relieved and excited to be going on to the Australian icebreaker and then home.
All 22 crew members are staying with their icebound vessel, which is not in danger of sinking and has weeks' worth of supplies on board.
(Copyright 2014, The Associated Press)