A complex international operation to free a Russian ship trapped in Antarctica ended Wednesday when the vessel cleared the ice field, as officials released a United States icebreaker from the rescue.
Australian authorities expressed relief Friday after 52 passengers were safely evacuated by helicopter from a Russian ship stranded in Antarctica, but then raised concern for a Chinese rescue vessel caught in heavy ice.
An icebound Russian research vessel prepared to ring in the New Year in remote Antarctica Tuesday as blizzards hampered a helicopter rescue planned after several icebreaking attempts failed.
A Chinese icebreaker has failed to break through thick ice to free a ship carrying scientists and tourists stranded off Antarctica, forcing Australian authorities to look at other rescue options Saturday.
Three icebreaking ships were Thursday hurrying to reach a Russian vessel carrying 74 people on a scientific expedition which is trapped by ice off Antarctica, with Australian authorities coordinating the rescue mission.
Chinese workers are on their way to build the country's fourth Antarctic research base and a fifth is being planned, state-run media said Thursday as the country expands its imprint on the icy continent.