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. amazed

    Hope the people get rescued soon! However I do find all these comments highly entertaining... going update my FB now,lol 😉

    December 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Me

    You mean ice still forms there? I thought everything was melting

    December 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lol

    the research ship that came to help was actually a south Korean ice breaker.

    December 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Norman

    I'm a putz who thinks global warming means everything in the world is supposed to melt. A doy doy doy doy

    December 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Think

      No, just a putz.

      December 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. realitychk

    people working together.

    December 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John

    That's a pretty flattering picture of the "Bucket",should of been banned from anywhere near the Antarctic

    December 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. augustghost

    AHHH the ghost of Shackelford returns....bwahahah

    December 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      "The Endurance" makes this look like a day at the beach.

      December 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Name*mary frances marks

    The buety and wonder is full of rage. As a common place grows, i see beauty.

    December 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John (Black Hills of S. Dakota)

    It sure makes me want to go down and help this ship get back out to open waters and heading for home. It sounds like hard work, but it sure sounds like a fun time. If I didn't need a salary to survive, I'd go and do it for free.

    December 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart Fargo

      Sounds like you've been watching too much Deadliest Catch.

      December 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ¿TTUИFFUЯ ( ½ ELF slayer & ½ BUGBEAR KILLER )

    global warming could solve this problem....

    December 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve Herman

    Can't they lift it out of the water with several helicopters? Jk!!

    December 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart Fargo

      Robert Duvall could do it.

      December 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tim

    They should cast lots to see who they eat first. . .

    December 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nonyabidness2

    Maybe since they now have resources there they can plow a path for those trapped whales...

    December 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Franky

      I was rather hoping they could get some ice fishing done?

      December 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Abnguy

    Global warming strikes again. I thought that by now the ice caps were supposed to have all melted off allowing us to boat safely in the north. Al Gore caused this.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike s

      You thought that becase of fox news?

      December 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enlighten

      Antartica is in the south, maybe you should get your facts about geography right before you lecture about Global Warming.

      December 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • newt

      your brain is trapped in ice. Antartica is south.

      December 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      See, all global warming deniers are not very smart, hence the reason they should not be allowed to dictate environmental policy. Antarctica is in the southern hemisphere, not the north. Jeez.

      December 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Antarctica is in the south, Genius.

      December 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • WiseOne

      Noth America slipped to the southern hemisphere? When did that happen?

      December 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • gale

      South Pole, south,south,south....

      December 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeDeAng

      And that girls and boys is the reason why we need you to go to school.....

      December 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • pooh2

      the comment well illustrates the average educational ;level of the climate change deniers

      December 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pete

    so much for global warming

    December 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enlighten

      So much for your intellect.

      December 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      Burn! Seriously though, why are global warming deniers so stupid?

      December 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
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