• US ICEBREAKER HEADS TO ANTARCTIC TO HELP STUCK SHIPS

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    SYDNEY: United States (US) icebreaker was dispatched on Sunday to assist an icebound Russian research ship and Chinese vessel trapped during a rescue bid in Antarctica, as the leader of a group airlifted to safety rejected criticism of their expedition. The US Coast Guard’s Polar Star accepted an Australian request to go to the aid of the marooned Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been beset by ice since December 24. It will also aid the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long which was involved in a dramatic helicopter rescue of the Shokalskiy’s 52 passengers on Thursday. The Xue Long has become trapped itself, with China vowing “all-out efforts” to assist the ship which is surrounded by ice of up to four meters thick and is stuck 21 kilometers from open water, according to state news agency Xinhua which has reporters on board.

    AFP

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