Rescue for Ice-Beset Vessel Underway
Friday, December 27, 2013

First vessel approaching vessel beset in Antarctic ice The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is continuing the coordination of a search and rescue for a Russian vessel beset by ice approximate ly 1500 nautical miles south of Hobart.

AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) tasked three vessels with icebreaking capability to proceed towards the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, 100 nautical miles east of the French station Dumont D’Urville. The first of the three vessels tasked by RCC Australia is now about 15 nautical miles from the vessel, progressing at slow speed and the second vessel remains about 20 nautical miles away.

Weather conditions improved on Friday, with strong winds and snow abating. Conditions are expected to remain favourable for the next two days. MV Akademik Shokalskiy is in the Australian Search and Rescue region and is stable. RCC Australia is in regular contact with the vessel and the 74 people on board are reported to be safe. The third vessel tasked, Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) vessel Aurora Australis, is continuing en route to the area.

RCC Australia was contacted by the Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in the United Kingdom on Christmas (Wednesday) morning Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT). The Falmouth MRCC received a distress message via satellite from the Russian flagged vessel, MV Akademik Shokalskiy, about 7.20am (AEDT) on Wednesday. Updates will be provided when further information is available.

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