The German online Westfalen-Blatt quotes Russian news agency Itar-Tass:
After a failed rescue attempt by an icebreaker sent to free 74 participants of an Antarctic expedition that became trapped in polar ice, a large number of them are to be rescued by air.
It has been decided to rescue 52 passengers and four crew members using a helicopter from the Chinese “Snow Dragon” ice breaker, so reports the Itar-Tass news agency Monday, refering to the Russian Foreign Ministry.”
It appears the Russians see no further purpose for the scientists to remain on their MS Akademik Shokalskiy research vessel, which they’ve hired out to them, and will leave behind a bare crew of 18 in the hopes of salvaging the ship. The Akademik Shokalskiy has been trapped in unexpected dense, thick sea ice since December 24.
Whether conditions will allow a helicopter rescue on Tuesday is questionable. The weather forecast for Mawson shows blizzardy conditions through Tuesday. Currently winds are blowing at near 70 km/h from 120° east-southeast. Temperatures will fall over the course of the next 10 days.
The Westfalen-Blatt writes that there is no information on when and how the remaining 18 will be rescued.
Turney gets dose of “shocking” reality
The last rescue attempt by an Australian icebreaker was abandoned due to a “dangerous snowstorm” which expedition leader Chris Turney called “shocking”.
Imagine that: global warming causing a million extra square kilometers of thick, impenetrable sea ice and dangerous, “shocking” snowstorms.
This is what we call fantasy being contradicted by reality.