Anartica - UPDATE December 26, 2013 - Fifty Seven People Stranded in Frozen Sea Aboard Cruise Ship
Australian Maritime officials reported - 57 passengers aboard a cruise ship are stuck in the frozen sea of the south pole. Of the 57 on board, 22 are crewmen and 35 are passengers.
Distress signal came in early today via satellite, saying the vessel is frozen in the sea 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Tasmania - reported Andrea Hayward-Maher of Austraila's Maritime Safety Authority.
"We've been in touch with the master of the vessel, who says they are beset by ice," spokeswoman Hayward-Maher said. "They are basically trapped or stuck in the ice and can't move."
They are in a very remote region in the far south of Anartica, trapped on a boat with little hope of being rescued for days.
The ship is Russian-operated, named the Akademik Shokalskiy, an ice-strengthened vessel built in 1984 for oceanographic research.
Passengers are believed to have enough provisions to wait out their rescue. One passenger tweeted that all on board were fine and their "spirits high."
"We're in the ice like the explorers of old! All are well and spirits are high. Happy Christmas," Australian professor Chris Turney tweeted.
The ship is too far from land to send aircraft or normal rescue vessels, Hayward-Maher said. Three ships with ice-breaking capabilities in the region have "been tasked with helping," but they are all a two-day sail from the stuck vessel," she added.
"This is quite a complex and lengthy search-and-rescue operation because of the remote location of the area," Hayward-Maher said.
We're in the ice like the explorers of old! All are well and spirits are high.
The location is the same site as the 1911-1914 British expedition led by explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, according to Expeditions Online - the agency selling tickets for the cruise.