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Xuelong trapped after rescuing Russian ship
January 4, 2014, 6:19 am

Chinese President Xi Jinping has requested all-out efforts to ensure the safety of the crew aboard the Chinese research vessel and icebreaker [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping has requested all-out efforts to ensure the safety of the crew aboard the Chinese research vessel and icebreaker [Xinhua]

A Chinese research vessel and icebreaker that played a key role in evacuating the trapped passengers of a Russian vessel stranded off the Antarctic is now itself trapped in dense ice, maritime authorities said Saturday.

Xuelong’s movement is now blocked by a one-km-long iceberg which is continuously drifting northwest.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has requested all-out efforts to ensure the safety of the crew aboard the Chinese research vessel and icebreaker.

Xi also lauded the bravery of the 101-member expedition team as they battled heavy floe to rescue the Russian crew and passengers.

“Xuelong’s rescue mission had been accomplished under extreme risks and has won honor for China and the people,” the Chinese President said on Saturday.

The Chinese ship participated in rescuing 52 passengers on Thursday from the Akademik Shokalskiy, a Russian cruise vessel which had been stuck in the Antarctic since December 24.

A rescue helicopter from the Xue Long flew the passengers to the nearby Aurora Australis.

Meanwhile, Xuelong has confirmed to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority that it is safe, is not in distress and does not require assistance at the time, according to the latest statement from AMSA.

Wang Jianzhong, captain of Xuelong, said that currently the tidal conditions are extremely complex and will attempt to maneuver through the ice only after the giant iceberg drifts away.

 

Source: Agencies

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