Russia

Ship Trapped by Ice off Antarctica

Three icebreakers heading out for rescue mission

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Three icebreaking ships on Thursday were hurrying to reach a Russian vessel carrying 74 people on a scientific expedition which is trapped by ice off Antarctica, with Australian authorities coordinating the rescue mission.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said the MV Akademik Shokalskiy sent a distress message on Wednesday to say it was stuck about 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont D'Urville.

"The ship was starting to head out (to the open ocean) when the blizzard hit," expedition spokesman Alvin Stone told AFP.