Xue Long Opens 1-km Runway, US Icebreaker to Help 2 Stuck Ships
   2014-01-06 07:20:15    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Cui

File photo provided by the US Coast Guard showing the US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star breaking ice in the turning basin outside McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 15 February 2006. The Polar Star which is the Coast Guard's only active heavy-duty polar icebreaker, is headed to Antarctica to rescue two other stuck icebreakers, the Xue Long from China and the Akademik Shokalskiy from Russia. [Photo: 2 MARIANA O'LEARY / US COAST GUARD / HANDOUT/CFP]

Chinese icebreaker Xue Long has created a kilometer-long runway in preparation for breaking through the ice.

The icebreaker has been trapped by heavy floes in Antarctica since Friday after rescuing all 52 passengers on a Russian vessel which has been stranded since the Christmas Eve.

Xu Ting is deputy director of the current Antarctic Expedition by the Xue Long.

"Floes around us haven't changed much. The wind remains southeasterly but has weakened. The snow has been heavier. Under favorable weather conditions, we can use the runway to speed up, then we will be able to break the ice and move ahead. The vessel currently has sufficient foods, but its drinking water is only enough for around 29 days."

A cyclone is expected to roll through the area today or tomorrow which may change the wind direction, which may help the vessel break thought the ice.

A U.S. icebreaker is on its way from Sydney to assist the Chinese and Russian vessels.

It is expected it will take about 7 days for the US icebreaker to reach the Xue Long.

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