Rescue Vessel May Now Be Stuck

    Nicole De Losa, a passenger on board the MV Akademik Shokalskiy waves to a helicopter sent from the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long (Snow Dragon) to assess ice conditions around the Russian Ship, in East Antarctica December 29, 2013, some 100 nautical miles (185 km) east of French Antarctic station Dumont D'Urville and about 1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km) south of Hobart, Tasmania. The Snow Dragon Chinese icebreaker was one of three icebreakers sent to free the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which became stranded on Tuesday in ice driven by strong winds. Ice appeared to be cracking up on Sunday, raising hopes for a rescue as the Aurora Australis, a powerful Australian icebreaker, approached the stranded vessel. The trapped Russian ship, with 74 people on board, left New Zealand on November 28 on a privately funded expedition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey led by famed Australian explorer Douglas Mawson.  REUTERS/Andrew Peacock (ANTARCTICA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - RTX16WC7

    Andrew Peacock/Reuters

    No good deed goes unpunished. A Chinese ice-breaker that aided passengers stranded on the Russian research vessel in Antarctica may now also be stuck. The Chinese ship, Xue Long, “notified AMSA [the Australian Maritime Safety Authority]... this afternoon [that] it has concerns about its ability to move through heavy ice in the area," said AMSA in a statement Thursday. The Chinese vessel will try to maneuver again early on Jan. 4, when conditions might improve.

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