14 Jan 2014

Ship stuck in Antarctic ice reaches Bluff

8:36 pm on 14 January 2014

A Russian research ship stuck for 14 days in ice in eastern Antarctica is now at the bottom of the South Island.

The Akademik Shokalskiy, which became stranded in heavy ice in the Antarctic on Christmas Eve, arrived at Bluff on Tuesday morning.

The ship managed to break free of the ice on 7 January, two weeks after it became stuck with 52 scientists, tourists and journalists on board. They were rescued by helicopter after being stranded for more than a week.

Chinese icebreaker the Xue Long, which used its helicopter to rescue the passengers before it too was trapped by the ice, also broke free on 7 January, AAP reports.

The passengers were transferred to Australian icebreaker the Aurora Australis, which is expected to reach Hobart on 20 January.

The Akademik Shokalskiy will spend four days in port and is scheduled to sail from Bluff on 18 January.