Well at least they had a white Christmas…
The Russian research vessel Shokalskiy, a part of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, unexpectedly became trapped in the ice on Christmas Eve, and the crew spent Christmas stuck in the Antarctic!
We're in the ice like the explorers of old! All are well and spirits are high. Happy Christmas from the AA… https://t.co/dIiKBnP6rz
— Chris Turney (@ProfChrisTurney) December 25, 2013
According to their blog, although they were stuck in low temperatures, they still managed to have a merry Christmas:
"Unfortunately proceeding north we found our path blocked by ice pushed in by an increasingly strong southeasterly wind. On Christmas Eve we realised we could not get through, in spite of being just 2 nautical miles from open water. We hoped the conditions would change but we have experienced several low pressure systems over the last few days which have held the ice fast. We just wanted to let all our family and friends know there is no risk to the vessel and everyone is well. Yesterday the team celebrated Christmas and morale is high. We have called for assistance due to the anticipated continuing southeasterly winds…"
In case you worried they were in danger, have no fear because, in the immortal words of Mrs. Doubtfire, help is on the way!
Their blog goes onto mention that not one, not two, but three ships are making their way to their coordinates:
"We have been informed a Chinese ice breaker called Snow Dragon (Xue Long) is currently en route from Freemantle to the Ross Sea and will be entering the pack near our location tomorrow. We have also learnt the French vessel Astrolabe is travelling to our position to provide support and will be arriving shortly after Xue Long; the Australian ship, the Aurora australis, has also been sent from Casey and will be arriving later."
China, France, and Australia teaming up? We're liking this unexpected alliance! See, the holidays bring everyone together!
We hope the expedition with its 22 Russian crew members, its research team of 18, and 22 volunteers get out of the ice to safer waters, which should happen in "the next 24 hours!"
Ch-ch-check out some footage from the edge of the world (below)