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Russian Research Ship Reaches New Zealand After Antarctic Ordeal

A picture made available on December 29 shows passengers in front of the "Akademik Shokalsky," which got stuck in Antarctic ice, prompting international rescue efforts.
The Russian research vessel "MV Akademik Shokalsky" has reached the New Zealand port of Bluff after being freed from ice in the Antarctic last week.

The ship's arrival at the port on January 14 ends an odyssey that saw the vessel trapped by ice in late December, prompting the dispatch of icebreakers from China, Australia, and the United States to attempt unsuccessfully to reach and free the Russian ship.

All nonessential people aboard were taken away by a Chinese helicopter on January 2, but the Russian crew remained on the ship.

A change in wind direction on January 7 helped the "Akademik Shokalsky" to free itself.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and dpa