For the latest, see this new story.
UPDATE: Turns out this “research” vessel was mostly a taxpayer funded junket for getting video stories to BBC in the UK and ABC in Australia, see update2 below.
It is summer in the southern hemisphere and yet there is still signifiicantly above normal amounts of sea ice present as the passengers and crew of one tour ship discovered. The icebreakers Xue Long and Aurora Australis, and a French research vessel Astrolabe are cruising towards the Akademik Shokalskiy at full throttle for rescue. Photos and maps follow.
MV Akademik Shokalskiy (file photo) from expeditionsonline.com – click image for details
PR from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Dec 25th, 2013:
Search and rescue of passenger vessel trapped in ice underway
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is coordinating a search and rescue for a Russian passenger ship beset by ice approximately 1500 nautical miles south of Hobart.
AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) was contacted by the Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in the United Kingdom on Christmas morning.
The Falmouth MRCC received a distress message via satellite from a Russian flagged vessel, MV Akademik Shokalskiy, with 74 people about 7.20am (AEDT).
Is this a global comedy reality show or what…at least if you’ve been following it.