Chinese Icebreaker Awaiting Opportunity to Break Free
   2014-01-05 11:42:37    APTN      Web Editor: Cui

Xuelong is blocked by thick ice after successfully transferred passengers aboard stranded Russian science vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy Thursday. [Photo: Xinhua/Zhang Jiansong]

Related: Scientific Researches Undisturbed on Xuelong

The crew of trapped Chinese icebreaker Xue Long are calmly awaiting an opportunity to break through the ice on Monday. A change in wind direction is expected to provide favorable conditions, said the expedition team's deputy director.

Xu Ting, deputy director of China's 30th Antarctic Expedition, made the statement from aboard Xue Long during a Saturday phone interview with China Central Television (CCTV).

The cyclone approaching the vessel will bring a westerly wind which should help Xue Long break through the ice, he said.

"The wind around the location where Xue Long is trapped will remain southeasterly until Monday. But according to the weather forecast sent from China and the forecast from meteorological experts at the site, we will see a cyclone arrive on Monday or Tuesday. Then we will see a westerly wind, which will be beneficial for Xue Long in breaking through the ice," said Xu.

Although the vessel will be located on the edge of the cyclone, the crew will be fully prepared to grasp the opportunity, said Xu, adding that they would prepare to break through the ice in several directions.

He also confirmed that supplies on the vessel were plentiful.

"In terms of supplies, we will not run out until April 10 when we expect to arrive back to China, so there is no need for anybody to worry about that," said Xu, adding that the spirits of the crew have remained high.

Xue Long became stuck on Thursday when it was preparing to leave the area after completing a lengthy operation to ferry passengers by helicopter from the trapped Russian ship, Akademik Shokalskiy, to the awaiting Australian ship, Aurora Austrialis.

Related: China Sets up Team to Rescue Stranded Icebreaker

China's Icebreaker Xuelong Trapped after Antarctica Rescue

Xi Requests Safety of Staff Aboard Stranded Icebreaker

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