A day after the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long rescued 52 passengers off a stranded Russian boat in the Antarctic, the Chinese crew said that they themselves might be trapped in ice.
According to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which has been coordinating the rescue attempts, the Chinese crew says the Xue Long could be ice bound. The AMSA has put the Aurora Australis, one of the ships sent to rescue passengers off the Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy, on standby in case the Xue Long needs help.
The Chinese crew members had “concerns about their ability to move through heavy ice in the area,” the authority said. The Xue Long will try to move through the ice Saturday, owing to tidal conditions. AMSA said the ship was in no imminent danger.
The Xue Long was instrumental in Thursday's rescue of 52 passengers aboard the Shokalskiy. A Chinese helicopter was deployed from the icebreaker to transport passengers from the stranded Russian ship to the Aurora Australis.