PUBLISHED: 12:46 EST, 5 January 2014
The United States is sending a heavy icebreaker to help free a Russian ship and a Chinese icebreaker gripped by Antarctic ice, the Coast Guard said on Saturday.
The Polar Star is responding to a request for assistance from Australian authorities as well as from the Russian and Chinese governments, the Coast Guard statement said.
‘The U.S. Coast Guard stands ready to respond to Australia’s request,’ Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander Vice Admiral Paul Zukunft said. ‘Our highest priority is safety of life at sea, which is why we are assisting in breaking a navigational path for both of these vessels.’
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Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy said the Polar Star was expected to arrive on the scene on January 12 and take two to three days to complete its mission.
‘You’re looking at the Antarctic, which is a challenge in itself. You have weather and you have ice,’ Conroy said in a phone interview. ‘But our crews are very well trained and we expect to be successful in this mission.’
The Chinese vessel now had concerns about its own ability to move through heavy ice, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.
The Russian-owned research ship, Akademik Shokalskiy, left New Zealand on November 28 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey led by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson.
It became trapped on December 24, 100 nautical miles east of French Antarctic station Dumont d’Urville and about 1,500 nautical miles south of Tasmania.
During their time on the ice, passengers amused themselves with movies, classes in knot tying, languages, yoga and photography, and rang in the New Year with dinner, drinks and a song their adventure.
The Coast Guard’s Polar Star is 399 feet long with a maximum speed of 18 knots. It can continuously break 6 feet of ice at three knots, and can break 21 feet of ice backing and ramming, the Coast Guard said.
The Polar Star was on a separate mission before being asked to help the two stuck vessels.
It had left its homeport of Seattle in early December on ‘Operation Deep Freeze’, to break a channel through the sea ice of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica to resupply and refuel the US Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station on Ross Island.
Keeping themselves busy: Passengers from MV Akademik Shokalskiy walk around the ice in the Antarctic
The Aurora came within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the ship Monday, but fierce winds and snow forced it to retreat to open water.
The Akademik Shokalskiy, which left New Zealand on Nov. 28, got stuck Christmas Eve after a blizzard pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place about 2,700 kilometers (1,700 miles) south of Hobart, Tasmania.
The ship isn’t in danger of sinking and has weeks’ worth of supplies on board, but it cannot move.
The scientific team on board had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson’s 1911 to 1913 voyage to Antarctica. Turney had hoped to continue the trip if an icebreaker managed to free the ship.
And so, this expensive Global Warmist saga continues…will the BBC, Guardian, and their financially well-endowed global warmist bloggers (called “tourists” by the global state media) accompanying them continue their Global Warmist mantra despite not finding a polar bear stuck on a tiny ice sheet? Yes, they’ll continue to lie and some people will continue to believe them…follow the money.
Meanwhile the taxpayers will pay for the global warmist bloggers (tourists) expensive “global warmist” escapade!!! The Big Business Taxfree Foundations (Soros et al) will continue to fund “academia”, “newsmedia” along with their essential bloggers monthly salary.. All they have to do is promote that when ice melts, it’s because of the climate, and when water freezes, it’s because of the weather. Nice gig if you can get it – so long as you have no qualms in lying.