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. Tabitha

    lmao on the lighter side of the news....teanage Jordan conquered his last mountain! Yea JORDAN!

    December 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    BRRRR! They should be in the BRRing Sea and not here!

    December 26, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lee Downie

    What now, Skipper?

    December 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. denim

    It's good to see international cooperation like this.

    December 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Freeipodtouch

    Wow, I can't imagine that cold water flowing into the ship. I used to be in the us navy and preferred the warm Caribbean waters. That temp water probably gets down to your bones. Hopefully that rescue ship helps them out!
    Daren Singh

    December 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. artistkvip

    why don't the genius rescuers simply drop a generate to run the water pumps and fuel to runit if is different from the ships on board fuel choices 😉 then they could do both a t the same time.. saying this while .. uhhh chewing gum 😉

    December 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. VLK

    So much for global warming

    December 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      So much for your alleged brain.

      December 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Captain Tom

    Yes there is no global warming. Only hot air from morons who don't believe in science.

    December 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thurston

    The sad part is they were only supposed to be on a three hour tour.. a three hour tour..

    December 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. C Evans

    There is nothing in this news piece that supports or refutes gloabal warming claims. Re-read the article: It is about a ships hull being breached by ice and the ensuing struggle. Please don't bore us with your ignorance.

    December 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Republicon

    I am surprised we didn't nuke the russian spies. That would be newsworthy. Not to mention the fact that we can then justify the building of more Nukes!

    December 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Wayne M.

    HelloKitty thanks for explaining about the fuel. I guess only a few of us were able to figure that out. Saves me from having to point out what should've been obvious to others.

    December 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    I'm not testy at all, but the person who is trying so hard to imitate me (and who succeeded with *you*) apparently is.

    School is out, remember?


    I hope they can safely save the ship and the crew.

    December 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jazzzzzzzz

    Yep, The trolls are like a bunch of little spider monkeys causing mischief

    December 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nigel

      Hit the Gas Yuri!!!! It looks like smooth sailing to us. I think they just want to collect paychecks for nothing zero.

      December 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sunny Murchison

    Happy New Year 2012! Russian champaigne (sp) and Russian caviar are wonderful. Surely, you have them on board!

    December 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
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