Shokalskiy scientists remain trapped in Antarctic

A group of scientists remain trapped on a boat in the Antarctic after another attempt to rescue them stalled due to poor weather

December 30, 2013

The Russian vessel is being used by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by a professor of climate change at the University of New South Wales.

The trip hoped to follow in the footsteps of explorer Douglas Mawson, who undertook the first complete study of the region 100 years ago.

But on Christmas Eve, the vessel, known as the Shokalskiy, became surrounded in a thick pack of ice and could not move, according to a blog posted on the expedition website by one of the science team. The ship lies 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart in Tasmania.

The captain sent out a distress signal that was received by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on Christmas Day. The authority dispatched three icebreaking ships to help free the vessel. The first arrived on December and attempted to free the Shokalskiy overnight but could not.

Another Australian icebreaking ship arrived in the area on 30 December but progress to free the ship has halted due to poor weather conditions.

A Chinese vessel equipped with a helicopter is also in the vicinity of the Shokalskiy. This may be used if the Australian icebreaker is unable to reach the vessel, according to the AMSA.

Media reports and blogs from those trapped on board suggest that research is continuing despite the hiatus.

The majority of academics on board are from the University of New South Wales.

holly.else@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together

man with frozen beard, Lake Louise, Canada

Australia also makes gains in list of most attractive English-speaking nations as US slips