MV Akademik Shokalskiy’s Crew Spend Christmas Awaiting Rescue

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is coordinating a search and rescue for a Russian passenger ship beset by ice approximately 1500 nautical miles south of Hobart.

AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) was contacted by the Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in the United Kingdom on Christmas morning.

The Falmouth MRCC received a distress message via satellite from a Russian flagged vessel, MV Akademik Shokalskiy, with 74 people about 7.20am (AEDT).

The ship is in the Australian Search and Rescue region, 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont D’Urville.

RCC Australia assumed coordination of the incident and issued a broadcast to icebreaking vessels in the area.

Three ships with icebreaking capability have responded, including the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) vessel Aurora Australis, and are now en route to the area.

The closest vessels are at least two days sailing time away.

AMSA, December 25, 2013

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