SYDNEY, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's (AMSA) Rescue Coordination Center Friday confirmed that the rescue operation from the Russian vessel Akademik Shokalskiy stranded in Antarctica has been completed.
AMSA issued its statement on the latest development of the rescue work, saying all 52 passengers boarded a helicopter from Chinese vessel Xue Long and have safely arrived at Australian vessel Aurora Australis.
Five flights were conducted to take the passengers to the Aurora Australis over a distance of about 14 nautical miles. Four flights were undertaken with 12 people each flight, and the fifth flight rescued four passengers, according to AMSA.
The Aurora Australis will now start heading to open water and will head towards the Casey base to complete a resupply before heading to Australia.
The Aurora Australis is not expected to arrive in Australia until mid-January.
So far all 22 crew members of the Akademik Shokalskiy remain with the vessel.
The search and rescue operation commenced on Dec. 25 last year after the Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Britain received a message via satellite from the Russian vessel.
The message and subsequent coordination of the incident was soon passed to RCC Australia, who is the responsible search and rescue authority for this area.
CANBERRA, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- A helicopter from Chinese icebreaker Xue Long finally reached the Russian research ship stuck in sea ice in Antarctica at around 5 p.m. (local time) after several attempts were thwarted by severe weather, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on Thursday.
ABC footage showed the rescue helicopter has reached the Russian ship and the rescue operation has started. Full story