November was a busy month for cruise vessels: eleven cruise ships visited South Georgia between the 9th and 29th, according to the South Georgia Newsletter. One cruise ship, Ortelius, reached the rarely visited South Sandwich Islands and was able to put scientist Tom Hart ashore on Saunders Island where he took soil samples and set up two camera-traps to monitor the penguin colonies.
The government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands has announced it will issue two-year fishing licenses to companies who successfully apply to fish for toothfish and icefish in the SGSSI Maritime Zone, reports the South Georgia Newsletter latest edition.
The challenging rescue operation launched after a Russian ship became trapped in Antarctic pack ice in December shows the inherent risks facing the frozen continent's burgeoning tourist industry, experts say. Antarctica represents one of the last frontiers for adventurous travelers, an icy wonderland of glaciers, emperor penguins and seemingly endless white expanses.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) confirmed Wednesday that the entrapped Antarctic ships, the Akademik Shokalskiy and the Xue Long (Snow Dragon), have broken free from the ice in Antarctica and are no longer in need of assistance.
An IAATO sailing yacht has demonstrated that private and commercial vessels on expeditions in Antarctica can perform official hydrographic surveys and produce navigational charts that are still much needed for the region. Results were presented at the 13th Conference of the Hydrographic Commission on Antarctica (HCA) in Cadiz, Spain 3-5 December, hosted by the Spanish Navy.
A U.S. Coast Guard heavy icebreaker left Australia for Antarctica on Sunday to rescue more than 120 crew members aboard two icebreakers trapped in pack ice near the frozen continent’s eastern edge, officials said. The 122-meter cutter, the Polar Star, is responding to a Jan. 3 request from Australia, Russia and China to assist the Russian and Chinese ships.
The Chinese icebreaker that helped rescue 52 passengers from a Russian ship stranded in Antarctic ice found itself stuck in heavy ice, further complicating the 9-day roller-coaster rescue operation. Snow Dragon (Xue Long) had ferried the passengers from the stranded Russian ship to an Australian icebreaker late on Thursday.
Just days after the Chinese rover Jade Rabbit settled down on the moon, China is setting out to bolster its presence in another remote place: Antarctica. Chinese state media said on Thursday that construction workers are en route to the future site of China’s fourth Antarctic research station, after a pit stop at one of its other bases.
A Chinese helicopter reached on Thursday a Russian ship stranded in Antarctica for nine days to pick up 52 passengers who spent Christmas and the New Year trapped in ice, the expedition leader has said.
Seventy four people spent Christmas aboard a cruise ship that has become stuck in the ice in a remote region off the coast of Antarctica and rescue vessels are at least two days away, according to Australian maritime officials. Three icebreakers are sailing to the rescue.