Ship spends 10th day stuck in frozen waters off Antarctica
A New Zealand Air Force aircraft delivered pumps and equipment to the vessel Sparta after it became trapped in Antarctic ice.
December 26th, 2011
09:35 AM ET

Ship spends 10th day stuck in frozen waters off Antarctica

A research ship has arrived to help rescue a Russian fishing vessel that struck ice and became stuck in the frozen waters off of Antarctica 10 days ago, officials in New Zealand said.

The Sparta hit underwater ice December 16, leaving a one-foot hole in the ship's hull, according to the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center.

The ship has been stranded in an area about 2,000 miles from New Zealand, where the ice has been so thick that rescue ships have had difficulty getting close.

Since becoming stuck, 32 crew members have been working with rescuers to try to patch up the hole to keep the ship from sinking. They had been given tools dropped by a New Zealand Air Force plane, helping them pump out freezing water that was rushing into the ship.

But it has been difficult for the crew to both patch up the hole and pump out water, an official said.

"They are having difficulty in trying to fix a patch to the damaged part of the hull because they need to stop one of the pumps to do this, and then the water level creeps up again," Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Neville Blakemore told the New Zealand Herald.

The research vessel Araon is beginning to pump fuel into the damaged ship in hopes of lifting the bow out of the water enough to expose the damaged area of the hull, search and rescue mission coordinator Mike Roberts said.

Once the ship's hull is out of the water, officials hope that they can weld metal plates to both the inside and outside of the damaged area.

"If successful, the repair is expected to render Sparta seaworthy and able to be escorted by Araon out of the sea ice to open water," the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center said.

soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. 123

    ummm, are you blind, that ship is not stuck, it's floating next to the ice.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. roadwarrior

    so much for global warming

    December 26, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • doubleRocker

      Yes, because if there is ice in the antartic, there cant be global warming, right?
      (good grief!!)

      December 26, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. CSisler

    I wonder if AAA will cover the bill on this?

    December 26, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |

      That's a good tounge-in-cheek comment. NOT STUPID LIKE MOST OF THE OTHERS.


      December 26, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. jorge washinsen

    I thought the ice caps were thawing.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Macs

      Yeah, that's what they have been saying huh? The Earth is warming, killer asteroids, solar storms, over population, ect ect.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • justme

      mac? ect ect ? is this antarctic speak ?

      December 26, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      Jorge, please STOP thinking. You'll hurt yourself.

      December 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Give it about 10 more years and the ice will melt around the boat and then it can leave.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. me

    leave the fish alone already...

    December 26, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Doosh-LaRooush

    who knew you could get frozen in there, this is huge news, a stunning piece of journalism

    December 26, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chartreuxe

    Read the caption, genius, that's the rescue ship in the photo.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steve

    The ice caps are melting morons! People are so dumb it's hilarious. They have nothing but conjecture to say. But they have no clue about any facts. I see it all the time when I play poker. 100% think they know how to play. About 5% actually know what a 10 to 1 draws is getting paid 2 to 1 pot money. 🙂

    December 26, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kingofthenet


    December 26, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. PaulTinEG

    Let them eat FISH!

    December 26, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. call_al_gore

    Quick, someone call Al Gore and tell him that Global Warming needs more fuel to free the ship !!! I would have thought this story would be about how Antarctic waters were boiling.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. LoL

    u guyz r so funny…pheewww

    December 26, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. PaulTinEG

    Ahhh, cold showers in a cold steel ship, bound by ice. Sounds heavenly.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mr.Russo

    Isn't this all supposed to be melting?

    December 26, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      Yes, unfortunately your brain was first.

      December 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
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