Russian Passenger Ship Trapped in Antarctic Ice

Nearest rescue vessel is two days away

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Three ice-breaking vessels are en route to the Antarctic region, where a Russian passenger ship is stuck in thick sheets of ice.

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy has 74 people aboard and is stuck 1,726 miles south of Hobart, a city on Australia’s island of Tasmania. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is coordinating a rescue attempt, but the ice-breaking ships are at least two days away, according to an AMSA statement.

The ship’s distress signal was first picked up 3:20 p.m. E.T. Tuesday by the U.K.-based Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Center.

Authorities said passengers are not in any immediate danger, but the search-and-rescue effort is unusual because of its remote location.

Explorers and tourists aboard the stuck ship are marking the 100th anniversary of Douglas Mawson’s Antarctic exploration as part of a research expedition, the Guardian reports. The Guardian also notes that two of its journalists are among the passengers.