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Russian Ship Reaches New Zealand After Escaping Antarctic Ice

A Russian research ship that was trapped in Antarctic ice for several weeks arrived Tuesday in New Zealand's Bluff port to undergo repair work, the vessel's owner said.

The crew members of the Akademik Shokalsky feel fine, said Yury Volkov, director of the Far Eastern Hydrometeorological Research Institute.

The ship is expected to arrive in Russia's Far East port of Vladivostok in March or April, Volkov said.

The Akademik Shokalsky became trapped in ice in the East Antarctic on December 24 with 22 Russian crew members and 52 passengers on board, many of them scientists.

After the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis failed to reach the stranded ship, the passengers were lifted by a Chinese icebreaker's helicopter to the Aurora Australis on Jan. 2, while the ship's crew was left on board.

The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long (Snow Dragon) subsequently also became trapped in thick ice. Both the Russian and Chinese icebreakers broke free on Jan. 8.

Related articles:

Good Weather Frees Russian Ship Stuck in Antarctica

Scientists Trapped in Antarctic Ice Rescued

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