USCG Icebreaker Sent to Assist in Antarctica

A United States Coast Guard heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star, left this past Sunday to help rescue the crew of two other heavy icebreakers trapped near Antarctica.

On Christmas Eve, the Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy became trapped in ice near Antarctica's Commonwealth Bay. The Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon responded to help the Russian ship, and also became stuck in the ice this past Friday. An Australian ship, the Aurora Australis was able to rescue some of the passengers from the Russian ship and will transport them to Australia. There are currently 123 people aboard the Russian and Chinese ship, although they are well provisioned, and in no immediate danger.

The Polar Star will finish resupplying in Sydney, and should arrive with assistance in about 7 days, barring any bad weather or unforeseen circumstances.