Stranded Antarctic Passengers Rescued by Helicopter: Page 2

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The Shokalskiy's crew of 22 will remain on board until the ice breaks up and she can sail on under her own steam. The ship is well provisioned and those on board have not been in any danger.

Turney posted a number of videos documenting the rescue, including the red helicopter's first touchdown on the landing pad, the initial group of passengers trekking across the ice and a second load taking off towards the Australis.

The initial plan had been for the helicopter to ferry the passengers back to the Xue Long, where they would board a barge to be transferred to the Aurora Australis, the Australian government's Antarctic resupply ship.

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But sea ice prevented the Australis from launching its barge Thursday, forcing a rethink.

In the end, the passengers were flown via helicopter from the stranded ship to an ice floe near the Aurora Australis, and then brought on board the Australian icebreaker in a rescue ship.

AMSA had estimated the rescue would involve five trips of up to 12 passengers and another two flights for equipment and luggage.

Passengers on the stranded ship -- an eclectic mix of scientists, tourists and journalists -- had been following in the footsteps of Australian Sir Douglas Mawson and his 1911-1914 expedition.

The team has been carrying out the same scientific experiments that Mawson's group conducted during their expedition, partly in an attempt to discover how quickly the Antarctic's sea ice is disappearing.

Board games, first-aid and other skills courses, movie marathons in the ship's auditorium and walks on the ice have helped to pass the time. They even penned a theme song about their adventure and filmed themselves singing it on the top deck.

Though they are in remote Antarctica the group dropped in on one of the world's biggest New Year's parties, broadcasting live to celebrations in New York's Times Square from their marooned vessel.

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