Antarctica rescue complete

9:18 AM, Jan 2, 2014   |    comments
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CANBERRA, Australia -- A long-awaited rescue of passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for more than a week has been completed.

Expedition spokesman Alvin Stone says a helicopter carried the 52 scientists and tourists from the Russian ship in groups of 12 to an Australian icebreaker. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Coordination Centre oversaw the rescue.

Expedition leader Chris Turney posted a video on Twitter showing the helicopter's arrival.

"I think everyone is relieved and excited to be going on to the Australian icebreaker and then home," Turney told the Associated Press by satellite phone.

All 22 crew members are staying with their icebound vessel, which is not in danger of sinking and has weeks' worth of supplies on board.

The research ship has been stuck since Christmas Eve.

* Cruise ship trapped in ice off Antarctic coast
* Icebound ship awaits helicopter rescue

(Associated Press)

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