After several attempts at a rescue, a Chinese helicopter has picked up members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition stranded in sea ice since Christmas Eve.
The passengers and scientists are being taken to an ice flow adjacent to the ship, Aurora Australis.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed that the first 12 of a total 52 were safely aboard Aurora Australis.
Australian Antarctic Expedition leader Chris Turney said: “The first of the helicopters to take us home. Thanks everyone!”
The helicopter is from the Chinese-flagged ship Xue Long (Snow Dragon).
The 22 crew from the MV Akademik Shokalskiy would remain on board and take the ship out of the ice when conditions allowed.
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