Antarctica: Australasian Antarctic Expedition ship rescue set to begin, 74 aboard – Updated 010114 2230z

Sailing route icebreaker MV Akademik Shokalskiy (Image: pogodawpolsce.bloog.pl)

Related:

In the Home of the Blizzard with the AAE

(Video credit: Intrepid Science)

Published on Dec 25, 2013

A short tour of the outside of our expedition vessel, the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, during todays blizzard. The good news is the atmospheric pressure is rising, suggesting the worst of the conditions are behind us. Meanwhile, the science program continues.

An Update on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (Boxing Day 2013)

(Video credit: Intrepid Science)

Published on Dec 25, 2013

A short movie showing the blizzard conditions were currently experiencing. On Christmas Eve we realised we could not get through the sea ice, in spite of being just 2 nautical miles from open water. We hoped the conditions would change but several low pressure systems have passed over us during the last few days and these have held the ice fast. The weather is predicted to improve significantly tomorrow. We just wanted to let all our family and friends know there is no risk to the vessel and everyone is well.

You can learn more about the Australasian Antarctic Expedition at http://www.spiritofmawson.com. For regular updates we will be posting details on Twitter @profchristurney, +Intrepid Science at Google+, and the Guardian Antarctica Live website. The BBC World Service are also embedded in the team and broadcasting a weekly programme on the expedition (including updates on our work) on Discovery. We are using the Inmarsat satellite system to provide live communications in the field.

AAE Update 27 December

(Video credit: Intrepid Science)

Published on Dec 26, 2013

Its good to be out of the blizzard! Yesterdays low pressure system has passed and the winds have dropped. Weve just heard the Chinese icebreaker is 20 kilometres away but the bad news is this is also the distance to the sea ice edge; a lot further than when we were trapped. If you look carefully over my left shoulder you might be able to see water sky; the dark clouds reflecting the open water on their underside. This is the most likely route the ice breakers will take to reach us.

Arrival of the Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon

(Video credit: Intrepid Science)

Published on Dec 27, 2013

The Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon (Xue Long) has arrived on the horizon. If the vessel continues progressing at 2 knots, it should be alongside the Shokalskiy in 2-3 hours. There are a lot of happy faces on board!

Preparing the helipad for the AAE evacuation

(Video credit: Intrepid Science)

Published on Dec 31, 2013

We now know the Australian icebreaker Aurora australis cannot break through to us so a helicopter evacuation seems the most likely. Led by expeditioner Ben Maddison and in good voice, the team pack down the snow and ice next to the Shokalskiy in preparation for a good weather window. Fingers crossed!

Happy New Year from the AAE


(Video credit: Intrepid Science)

Streamed live on Dec 31, 2013

Happy New Year everyone from the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2014!

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