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Australian Icebreaker Aurora Australis Runs Aground in Antarctica
   2016-02-26 07:23:21    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Luo Bin

The Aurora Australis ship sits among new ice, moored in Horseshoe Harbour at Mawson Station, Antarctica in this undated file photo supplied by the Australian Antarctic Division February 24, 2016. According to a statement released Wednesday by the Australian Antarctic Division, the ship broke free of its mooring lines and has run aground during a blizzard with 67 expeditions and crew aboard. [Photo: CFP]

The Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis has run aground in Antarctica during a mission to resupply the Mawson Station after it broke free of its moorings in a blizzard.

Nearly 70 members of the expedition and crew were on board the ship at the time. All are said to be safe and well.

The Australian Antarctic Division has announced that a US aircraft will help in the rescue effort of those stranded.

The ship remains watertight, but poor weather has hampered a full assessment of the damage.

Australian Antarctic Division Director Nick Gales explains the situation.

"We're hopeful that we can backload the passengers on board and continue on with our planned visit to Davis Station and back to Hobart. That's our best case scenario. There's a wide range of scenarios beyond that, that would see us returning expeditioners and some equipment back via other ships or aircraft and then dealing with whatever damage may have been sustained by the hull on the Aurora."

The Aurora Australis departed Hobart in early January to conduct research on the Kerguelen Plateau, an undersea geological formation.

It arrived at Mawson on Saturday.

Ships travelling to and from Antarctica often face risky conditions. The Aurora Australis itself came to the rescue of a Russian ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, and its 52 crew in 2014.

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