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Monday, December 30, 2013

Stuck for the holidays 2013

I know that everyone has different holidays, but the December one has brought an interesting story from the Antarctic region.  There are a huge number of stories on the web about the ongoing rescue efforts in the ice.  One of the best collection of these stories can be found on the link below.

BBC story on the plight of the Academician Shokalskiy


borrowed from http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/71975000/jpg/_71975706_020448570-1.jpg
It has been my experience that icebreakers frequently get stuck in places by traveling too far in the wrong season, or breaking down in bad places.  The third option would be overstretching the bounds of the equipment or skills of the navigators on board.  I am now down there with them, so I am trying not to make any assumptions about this explanation for their current predicament.

Eventually they are going to have to get a bigger class icebreaker down there to get them out, something more like this behemoth.

borrowed from http://rt.com/files/news/21/06/b0/00/v-1.jpg
Another solution will be to evacuate the crew and passengers with helicopters once the snow and high winds subside.  It seems this morning that is the next course of action.

Being a retired USCG officer with a handful of years at sea, I can relate a few stories of traveling in the ice.  Some of these I have experienced first hand, and others I have learned in my studies of USCG history.  Those stories are going to have to wait for a further blog entry.