Stranded Antarctic Expedition Awaits Second Rescue Attempt

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A Chinese ice-breaking ship attempting to reach an expedition trapped in Antarctica was stopped Saturday morning by 6.5-foot-deep ice.

The 74 stranded passengers aboard the Russian-flagged MV Akademik Shokalskiy hope to see another rescue vessel arrive by Sunday evening.

Expedition leader professor Chris Turney told NBC News that ice enveloped the MV Akademik Shokalskiy very quickly. “It’s a classic misunderstanding, that this environment moves at glacial pace, and it’s quite the reverse,” he said. The expedition launched from New Zealand on December 8 to retrace the journey of Australian geologist Douglas Mawson 100 years ago.

Passengers have been trapped on the ice-locked vessel since Tueday. Turney said morale remains high on the ship despite challenging conditions.

[NBC News]