The AKADEMIC SHOKALSKIY is a Russian expedition ship full of scientist and paying passengers who assist the scientist in their data collection. As we reported last week, It's stuck in Antartic ice, still. When we reported last week the AKADEMIC SHOKALSKIY was awaiting the arrival of the "Snow Dragon" which is actually the translation of XUE LONG the name of the Chinese ship proceeding the scene to assist at the request of the Australian Maritime Assistance organization. To read last weeks full story click here: GUARDIAN: It was nice to see the Dragon up to something productive instead of scaring the neighbors, but Mother Nature can defeat even seemingly invincible dragons.
The Snow Dragon (XUE LONG) has actually been on scene within distant sight of the stuck ship but can not break its way in. A French ice breaker has attempted to assist but has made no progress either. Now everyone is waiting for an Australian ice breaker which supposed to be a more heavy duty model than the two icebreakers presently on scene. If the ship can not be freed it may have to be evacuated by helicopter. We will continue to monitor events and let you know what's happening. The Dragon, the Bear, and about 74 paying Australian science buffs are all having quite an adventure in the Antarctic as summer is arriving down there. It seems like the spring ice pack is much thicker than anticipated, not much help here from global warming.