A Chinese icebreaker ship sent to Antarctica for the purpose of rescuing a trapped expedition vessel caught in ice was forced to call off the mission Friday — because it got stuck in ice.
According to Fox News, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the Chinese “Snow Dragon” came within six nautical miles from the Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy Friday, but could not go any further because the ice was too thick.
Zhao Yanping, second captain of the Snow Dragon, told CNN the ship was not technically stuck, just not advancing forward because of ice up to ten feet thick.
“We have been waiting for better weather and ice conditions since last night,” Yanping said. “Xue Long is not moving forward but we’re not stuck.”
“Right now we are waiting for winds to blow ice away so we can move closer,” he added. “The current ice condition is exceeding our capabilities to break through further.”
According to Fox News, the Russian ship, trapped since Christmas eve, is not in danger of sinking and has ample food and supplies on board.
Other ships are currently headed to the area and may be able to help with the rescue efforts.
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