A Russian vessel carrying 48 passengers and 20 crew members became stranded in the icy waters near Antarctica on Christmas morning. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority reported that it got a distress call from the ship, called MK Akademik Shokalskiy, on Wednesday morning. A spokeswoman with the Australian agency said that “the vessel isn’t in any immediate danger,” and that icebreakers would arrive to help the ship in about two days.
The ship departed from New Zealand early in December, and carries tourists and scientists conducting experiments. The trip is called the Spirit of Mawson Voyage after Douglas Mawson, the leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
“We’re making the best possible use of our unscheduled stop to take extra measurements in the area and build on our scientific work program,” said climate scientist Chris Turney from the University of New South Wales.