Video report by Neil Connery
Scientists trapped on a research ship since Christmas Eve by Antarctic ice have finally been rescued.
A helicopter from the Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon ferried the 52 passengers in small groups several times from the ice-bound ship, Akademik Shokalskiy, and transferred them to an Australian Antarctic supply ship, the Aurora Australis.
Chris Turney, who led the private expedition, said conditions at sea had improved enough to mount the rescue, following days of blizzards, fog and shifting sea ice.
Turney documented the rescue mission from the stranded ship with regular posts depicting videos and photographs.
Turney posted a short video clip of a second helicopter taking off. His seven photographs showed passengers bundled in heavy parka jackets, snow goggles and hats, boarding a helicopter amid a backdrop of snowdrifts and clear blue skies.
The Russian-owned research ship left New Zealand on November 28th to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey led by famed Australian explorer Douglas Mawson.
It became trapped on December 24th, 100 nautical miles east of French Antarctic station Dumont D'Urville and about 1,500 nautical miles south of Australia's southern island state of Tasmania.