All 52 passengers rescued from ship trapped in Antarctic

An American heavy icebreaker is leaving Australia for Antarctica to rescue more than 120 crew members aboard two vessels trapped in ice near the frozen continent's eastern edge. 52 scientists were rescued from the Russian ship last week.

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Bid to rescue trapped Antarctic passengers thwarted

The latest attempt to airlift passengers in a research ship trapped in Antarctic ice for more than a week has been delayed again after sea ice prevented a barge from reaching one of the rescue vessels.

A helicopter was expected to airlift passengers to Chinese icebreaker the Snow Dragon, and a barge would then ferry them to a nearby Australian vessel.

The Academic Shokalskiy has been unable to move since Christmas day, when thick sheets of ice blocked it in.

But before the operation could begin, sea ice blocked the path of the barge that needed to make it from the Australian vessel, the Aurora Australis, to the Snow Dragon.

The setback comes after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Co-ordination Centre claimed the weather conditions had improved and rescue flights were likely to begin.

Expedition leader Chris Turney had earlier described a "stunning day" in a video posted on his Twitter account.

Watch: Antarctic scientists hail new year with a song

Antarctica ship 'trapped by a huge breakout'

The Antarctic expedition leader whose ship has been stranded in ice for over a week wrote on Twitter:

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Rain all day but ice remains thick. Looks like we've been trapped by a huge breakout. #spiritofmawson Alok Jha https://t.co/bdGvwXRhvn

Read: Russian ship stranded off Antarctica: Latest updates

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Antarctica passenger: Case of 'hurry up and wait'

An oceanographer awaiting rescue on a Russian ship trapped in ice off Antarctica said it is a case of "hurry up and wait" on the vessel.

Erik van Sebille said in a video diary, "Everything must be ready to go as soon as possible [in case of a successful rescue attempt], but in the meantime it's a lot of waiting here".

The 74 passengers on the MV Akademik Shokalskiy are pinning their hopes on a helicopter rescue after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralysed vessel.

However, the helicopter must wait for a break in the weather before it can attempt a rescue, and conditions are not expected to improve before tomorrow.

Russian ship stranded off Antarctica: Latest updates

Antarctica passengers await 'clear weather window'

Passengers on board the Russian ship stranded off Antarctica are awaiting a "clear weather window" so they can be rescued by helicopter:

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Aurora can't make it through. Looks like we're going to be helicoptered out. Just need a clear weather window. Raining! #spiritofmawson

Russian ship stranded off Antarctica: Latest updates

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Antarctic passengers 'to be evacuated by helicopter'

Russia has said that most of the 74 passengers and crew stranded on a ship off Antarctica will be evacuated by a Chinese helicopter, AFP reported.

"A decision has been reached to evacuate 52 passengers and four crew members by helicopter from China's Xue Long ship, should the weather allow," the news agency reported, citing a Russian foreign ministry statement.

The Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy has been stuck since Christmas Eve Credit: AUSTRALASIAN ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION/FOOTLOOSE

Earlier today, an Australian icebreaker's bid to reach Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy was thwarted by poor visibility after a blizzard.

Russian ship stranded off Antarctica: Latest updates

Stranded Russia ship waits for ice breaker's arrival

The Akademik Shokalskiy has been trapped for nearly a week Credit: Reuters

A Russian ship stranded in the Antactic is pictured in ice as an Australian icebreaker's bid to reach it is halted because of poor visibility caused by a blizzard.

MV Akademik Shokalskiy has been stuck since Christmas Eve after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place.

The ship is not in danger of sinking, and there are several week's worth of supplies for the 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board.

Day in the life of passengers on trapped Antarctica ship

A video has been uploaded to YouTube which shows a day in the life of 74 passengers onboard a Russian ship which has been stranded in the Antarctic for a week.

An Australian icebreaker's mission to free the Akademik Shokalskiy is currently suspended due to poor visibility caused by a blizzard.

Expedition leader Professor Chris Turney tweeted a link to the video and said everyone was well and looking forward to seeing their loved ones soon.

Read: Blizzard halts effort to rescue Antarctica ship

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