Antarctic rescue: Update 4

Saturday 28 December 2013
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is assessing options in response to a Christmas day distress call made by a Russian vessel beset by ice approximately 1500 nautical miles south of Hobart.
Media Release

AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) tasked three vessels with icebreaking capability to proceed towards the MV Akademik Shokalskiy on Wednesday morning.

The first of the three vessels tasked by RCC Australia arrived in the vicinity on Friday but overnight the Master of the vessel advised AMSA it could not break through the ice to reach MV Akademik Shokalskiy.

A helicopter equipped Chinese flagged vessel remains in the vicinity to assist if necessary.

A second French flagged vessel was released from tasking at noon on Saturday (AEDT).

RCC Australia is in regular contact with the vessel and the 74 people on board are reported to be safe.

Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) vessel Aurora Australis, is en route to the area and is expected to arrive on Sunday evening.

This incident commenced when RCC Australia was contacted by the Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in the United Kingdom on Christmas day.

The Falmouth MRCC received a distress message via satellite from the Russian flagged vessel, MV Akademik Shokalskiy, about 7.20am (AEDT) on Wednesday.

Updates will be provided when further information is available.

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