Chinese helicopter Xueying aboard the icebreaker Xuelong swooped in to rescue trapped passengers on a Russian ship that was stuck in sea ice in Antarctica.
“The crew members have been readied to transport the 52 scientists and tourists aboard MV Akademik Shokalskiy with their luggage to Xuelong in groups of 12,” Xueying’s captain Jia Shuliang said in a Xinhua report.
According to the rescue plan, six crew members will be split into three two-person teams, respectively responsible for flying the helicopter and guaranteeing the ground service on board Xuelong and on the icy landing surface, Jia said.
The icebreaker took off from Shanghai in early November to embark on China’s 30th scientific expedition to Antarctica. It had established a relief effort after the Russian ship’s captain sent out a request for chopper rescue on Tuesday.
The Xueying helicopter is a KA 32 helicopter aboard the ship capable of wind resistance under 10 meters per second, according to the report.