Icebound ship in Antarctica edges closer to rescue

Dec 27, 2013 by Kristen Gelineau
In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock)

A ship that has been trapped in thick Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve was nearing rescue on Friday, after a Chinese icebreaker named the Snow Dragon drew close to the icebound vessel.

The Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been on a to Antarctica, got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the around the ship, freezing it in place. The ship wasn't in danger of sinking, and there were ample supplies for the 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, but the vessel couldn't move.

Maritime authorities received the ship's distress signal on Wednesday and sent three icebreakers to assist. By Friday afternoon, China's Snow Dragon had made it as far as the edge of the sea surrounding the ship, 20 kilometers (12 miles) away, but still faced the tough task of getting through the dense pack ice to the paralyzed vessel.

The Snow Dragon was hoping to reach the ship by Friday evening, but changing weather conditions and the thickness of the ice could slow its progress, said Andrea Hayward-Maher, spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the rescue.

Expedition leader Chris Turney said it may take the Snow Dragon until Saturday to break through.

In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock)

"We're all just on tenterhooks at the moment, waiting to find out" how long it will take, Turney said by satellite phone. "Morale is really good."

The scientific team on board the vessel—which left New Zealand on Nov. 28—had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson's century-old voyage to Antarctica when it became trapped. They plan to continue their expedition after they are freed, Turney said.

Passengers and crew have had to contend with blizzard conditions, including winds up to 70 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour), but the weather had calmed considerably by Friday, Turney said.

In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock)

"The blizzard we had yesterday was quite extraordinary—it's not nice when you can feel the ship shaking," he said.

In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, people gather on the ice next the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy that is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock)

Despite the interruption to the expedition, the scientists have continued their research while stuck, counting birds in the area and drilling through the ice surrounding the ship to photograph sea life.

Explore further: Rescue underway for Russian ship trapped by Antarctic ice

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dav_daddy
3 / 5 (8) Dec 27, 2013
Clearly another case of global warming.

Sry I just couldn't resist...
deatopmg
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2013
How much extra CO2 is/will be generated by the rescue effort? The captain's ignorance of the area and/or belief in the Global Warmist's continuing lie that the ice around Antarctica was greatly reduced due to man made CO2 should have his license suspended. In addition, the 74 Global Warmist's on the ship should be required to stay on the ice until it starts breaking up.

Pathetic!
verkle
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 27, 2013
It is supposed to be approaching summer in the Antarctic, and yet in the area the ship is stuck, when the ship became trapped in ice earlier this week, it was only 2 miles from the open water. But now the ice block has expanded and the ship is more than 13 miles from the sea.

http://www.foxnew...arctica/

MrKool
3 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2013
Clearly another case of global warming.

Sry I just couldn't resist...


Meanwhile, on a global scale, this last November was the warmest November in recorded human history, and this year is shaping up to be one of the warmest in recorded history.
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (4) Dec 27, 2013
In the meantime, they have just recorded a record LOW temp in Antarctica...
(read that somewhere else)
Sinister1812
not rated yet Dec 27, 2013
Why didn't they just fly there by helicopter or plane (if that's possible)? Instead of risking the ship getting stuck in the ice.
ubavontuba
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 28, 2013
Meanwhile, on a global scale, this last November was the warmest November in recorded human history, and this year is shaping up to be one of the warmest in recorded history.
Sure, GISS shows this, but is it really a "global" phenomena? It looks to me like the major culprit is an unusual weather pattern in Northern Asia:

http://www.ncdc.n...1311.gif

And another AGW alarmist preferred data set shows it to only be the third warmest November:

http://www.woodfo...every:12

But over all, it doesn't change the current trend:

http://www.woodfo....9/trend

And December appears to be blowing cold:

http://www.ncdc.n...egion=nh

Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 28, 2013
Why didn't they just fly there by helicopter or plane (if that's possible)? Instead of risking the ship getting stuck in the ice.


@sinister1812

74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, but the vessel couldn't move.


and

Nov. 28


and

Passengers and crew have had to contend with blizzard conditions, including winds up to 70 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour)


...are most likely the main reasons they didnt take helicopters/planes up there.

or were you referring to sending the ice-breaker?
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Dec 28, 2013
I found that question rather humorous, too, Cap'n
Sinister1812
2.5 / 5 (2) Dec 28, 2013
74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, but the vessel couldn't move.


Yes, only because it was stuck in ice. But I get you, a ship is an easier means of carrying all of that.

Nov. 28


Not sure what you mean by that. Summer in the southern hemisphere?

Passengers and crew have had to contend with blizzard conditions, including winds up to 70 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour)


Good point. I'll be honest I didn't really take the weather into account. People fly over Antarctica all the time, but attempting to land there, would be tough I guess.

I found that question rather humorous, too, Cap'n


Shut up, Whydening Gyre. :P
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Dec 29, 2013
@Sinister1812

yes. i was referring to weather, fluctuations in the weather, and the inability to safely land in certain conditions with the size/amount/bulk that needed to be transported, etc, etc.
Sinister1812
5 / 5 (2) Dec 29, 2013
@Sinister1812

yes. i was referring to weather, fluctuations in the weather, and the inability to safely land in certain conditions with the size/amount/bulk that needed to be transported, etc, etc.


Yeah, no problem. I know what you meant. Good to see that they're still continuing their expedition, but they might be stuck there for a while.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Dec 29, 2013
Yeah, no problem. I know what you meant. Good to see that they're still continuing their expedition, but they might be stuck there for a while.

They can always parachute in supplies if they had to.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Dec 29, 2013
Yeah, no problem. I know what you meant. Good to see that they're still continuing their expedition, but they might be stuck there for a while.

They can always parachute in supplies if they had to.


or they can use the Swallow...
i always did love Python logic.... LMFAO
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Dec 29, 2013
or they can use the Swallow...
i always did love Python logic.... LMFAO


Absolutely NO idea what that all meant... cept for the LMFAO.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Dec 29, 2013
or they can use the Swallow...
i always did love Python logic.... LMFAO


Absolutely NO idea what that all meant... cept for the LMFAO.


"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" reference!

sorry if i seem dated. i grew up on the Pythons (Monty Pythons Flying Circus)! hazards of old age... rent the above DVD and watch it... it is hilarious!
RobPaulG
3 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2013
The main point of the story is they are stuck in ICE in the same area a ship was able to navigate 100 YEARS AGO. Try to apply some thinking to that...
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2013
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" reference!

sorry if i seem dated. i grew up on the Pythons (Monty Pythons Flying Circus)! hazards of old age... rent the above DVD and watch it... it is hilarious!


My bad. Shows I'm old from a different viewpoint - memory is not what it used to be.
Have the DVD.. Apparently haven't watched it in a while...
runrig
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2013
The main point of the story is they are stuck in ICE in the same area a ship was able to navigate 100 YEARS AGO. Try to apply some thinking to that...


Now knowing that sea-ice formation is not just a function of temperature - it's a function of salinity and wind/water currents. And in the absence of colder temperatures than 100 years ago.
I reckon I've figured it out, thanks. It's complicated.
There are a number of papers available on here re the subject, that reading via the search function could "apply some thinking to".
Benni
2 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2013
Clearly another case of global warming.

Sry I just couldn't resist...


Meanwhile, on a global scale, this last November was the warmest November in recorded human history, and this year is shaping up to be one of the warmest in recorded history.


Now wait just a minute here.........We just had a record low for this date at my place this morning in the northern United States where it is officially winter, while at the S Pole where it is summer they are also having record ice formation & cold temps...........How does that comport?
runrig
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2013
Meanwhile, on a global scale, this last November was the warmest November in recorded human history, and this year is shaping up to be one of the warmest in recorded history.


Now wait just a minute here.........We just had a record low for this date at my place this morning in the northern United States where it is officially winter, while at the S Pole where it is summer they are also having record ice formation & cold temps.....How does that comport?


Because "your place" is not quite the sum of the world. Averages work by adding up all items to be averaged and dividing by the number of items.
Ie an average is the mean between all extremes.
Oh, another myth is born is it.
See below for explanation of the sea-ice and is this..
http://www.thewir.../355948/
What you mean ... Aug 2010 -Winter and sensed by satellite for the first time. Therefore we don't know if it was "a record"
And it's all weather not climate
Benni
2 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2013
Meanwhile, on a global scale, this last November was the warmest November in recorded human history, and this year is shaping up to be one of the warmest in recorded history.


Now wait just a minute here.........We just had a record low for this date at my place this morning in the northern United States where it is officially winter, while at the S Pole where it is summer they are also having record ice formation & cold temps.....How does that comport?


[q\Because "your place" is not quite the sum of the world.

Oh, another myth is born is it.

And it's all weather not climate


In front of me on my desk is a world globe, the distance from the U.S./Canadian border to Antarctica is enormous........so you are saying this record cold across that entire distance is all part of just one weather pattern? I'll bet you won't be making a statement like that if just 2 or 3 hurricanes above the average hits the U.S. Gulf Coast next year, yeah, it'll be a GW event.
runrig
5 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2013
In front of me on my desk is a world globe, the distance from the U.S./Canadian border to Antarctica is enormous........so you are saying this record cold across that entire distance is all part of just one weather pattern? I'll bet you won't be making a statement like that if just 2 or 3 hurricanes above the average hits the U.S. Gulf Coast next year, yeah, it'll be a GW event.


There is no cold record that matters Benni. Any single cold record can be countered by a warm one. Vis the record warmth in the US last summer and in Oz too.

You need to stop thinking of climate as weather. Climate is the bit left when you take away the "weather" – the underlying driving trend - caused by an increase in the climate system's temp due an imbalance of solar SW in vs emitted LWIR out. The "weather" is just internal chaos and will give large variation spacially/temporally. No, Hurricanes likewise.
Maggnus
4 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2013
or they can use the Swallow...
African? Or European?
Benni
1 / 5 (1) Dec 30, 2013
In front of me on my desk is a world globe, the distance from the U.S./Canadian border to Antarctica is enormous........so you are saying this record cold across that entire distance is all part of just one weather pattern? I'll bet you won't be making a statement like that if just 2 or 3 hurricanes above the average hits the U.S. Gulf Coast next year, yeah, it'll be a GW event.


There is no cold record that matters Benni. Any single cold record can be countered by a warm one. Vis the record warmth in the US last summer and in Oz too.

You need to stop thinking of climate as weather.


.........then by reason of consistency that cold records don't matter, it must also mean "warm records don't matter" either? Touted proofs of man made GW is all about record warm/hot weather, increasing incidences of hurricanes over a very short period, & a shrinking polar cap on Mars as well as on Earth (I'm co-founder of an astronomy club, we study this stuff).

Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2013
@Maggnus
LOL Africans are non-migratory LOL

re:climate / weather debate

i always thought weather was local and climate was global, but then i found this (site linked below quote):
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time.


here is a good link:
http://www.nasa.g...her.html

dont know if it will help any though.
goracle
5 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2013
Yeah, no problem. I know what you meant. Good to see that they're still continuing their expedition, but they might be stuck there for a while.

They can always parachute in supplies if they had to.


or they can use the Swallow...
i always did love Python logic.... LMFAO

The European would be much further away, so I presume you suggest the African. What about a European swallow that is from the part of Europe on the African plate? Oh, never mind...
runrig
3 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2013
Benni:
.........then by reason of consistency that cold records don't matter, it must also mean "warm records don't matter" either? Touted proofs of man made GW is all about record warm/hot weather, increasing incidences of hurricanes over a very short period, & a shrinking polar cap on Mars as well as on Earth (I'm co-founder of an astronomy club, we study this stuff).


That's what I said, yes.

Proofs are not about warm/hot weather – it's about the TOA imbalance between absorbed solar SW and emitted LWIR. It's about LONG-TERM climate warming (ocean and air). Short-term variation are just internal chaos and don't alter the basic heat in vs heat out equation (imbalanced) played out via storage of heat over the long term.
Mars isn't comparable to Earth with regards climate. It's not the Sun.
Benni
1 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2013
Benni:

.........then by reason of consistency that cold records don't matter, it must also mean "warm records don't matter" either? Touted proofs of man made GW is all about record warm/hot weather, increasing incidences of hurricanes over a very short period, & a shrinking polar cap on Mars as well as on Earth (I'm co-founder of an astronomy club, we study this stuff).


Mars isn't comparable to Earth with regards climate. It's not the Sun.


So when the polar caps on Mars shrink at exactly the same time they do on Earth with statistically overwhelming congruent frequency, this in your universe is just co-incidence?
runrig
3 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2014
So when the polar caps on Mars shrink at exactly the same time they do on Earth with statistically overwhelming congruent frequency, this in your universe is just co-incidence?


We need a reason for it not to be a coincidence, a causation not just correlation. In your interpretation it must be the Sun, Yes?
Then why do all observations through the time period of this Mars warming show the Sun's irradiance to be weakening?
You do know that Mars is uniquely sensitive to surface albedo? With a very thin atmosphere and no water causing very low thermal inertia. And that there are dust storms? Created by those albedo changes.
Also the myth goes that warming ended 17 years ago – so why is Mars still warming?
Try investigating the scientific reasons for it and not the reactionary.
goracle
not rated yet Jan 01, 2014
So when the polar caps on Mars shrink at exactly the same time they do on Earth with statistically overwhelming congruent frequency, this in your universe is just co-incidence?


We need a reason for it not to be a coincidence, a causation not just correlation. In your interpretation it must be the Sun, Yes?
Then why do all observations through the time period of this Mars warming show the Sun's irradiance to be weakening?
You do know that Mars is uniquely sensitive to surface albedo? With a very thin atmosphere and no water causing very low thermal inertia. And that there are dust storms? Created by those albedo changes.
Also the myth goes that warming ended 17 years ago – so why is Mars still warming?
Try investigating the scientific reasons for it and not the reactionary.
That's the difference between scientific enquiry and opinion dressed in scientific-sounding jargon.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Jan 01, 2014
Happy ending to the original story - 52 are to rescued by helicopter shortly.