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Weather Again Delays Antarctic Rescue Of Icebound Russian Ship

Bad weather is again hampering efforts to rescue passengers and crew aboard an icebound Russian research ship in Antarctica.

The "MV Akademik Shokalsky" has been stranded in pack ice for a week, with icebreakers unable to reach it.

The latest plan to rescue the ship's 52 passengers -- many of them Australian -- involves a helicopter from the Chinese ship "Snow Dragon."

But officials say weather conditions likely won't allow an attempt until January 1 at the earliest.

Most of the 22 crew members would remain behind.

The ship's doctor, Andrew Peacock, said passengers are frustrated but are "resigned to keep waiting."

Peacock said the ship is stocked with two weeks' worth of fresh food and enough dehydrated rations for another two weeks.

But Peacock said drinks are running low, with "just enough alcohol left to celebrate" the arrival of 2014.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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