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All 52 Passengers From Icebound Russian Ship Rescued


This image taken by passenger Andrew Peacock of on December 30 shows the ship "MV Akademik Shokalskiy" still stuck in the ice off East Antarctica, as it waits to be rescued.
Rescuers have safely airlifted all 52 passengers from a Russian research ship icebound for more than a week in Antarctica.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is in charge of the rescue operation, confirmed that the passengers were flown to an Australian ship nearby in groups of 12 by a helicopter from a Chinese icebreaker on January 2.

The Russian ship, the "MV Akademik Shokalsky," has been trapped in thick ice since December 24.

It was following the route of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson and his 1911-14 expedition.

The passengers included scientists, tourists and journalists.

Three icebreakers were initially dispatched to try and crack their way through the thick ice surrounding the ship, but all failed.

All 22 of the ship's crew members were expected to stay with their icebound vessel, which is not in danger.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and ITAR–TASS