The Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon, which recently helped rescue 52 passengers from a trapped Australian ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, is now also stuck off the coast of Antartica.
The Aurora Australis, the vessel carrying the rescued passengers to open water, was ordered to stop yesterday in fear that the Chinese vessel would need some rescuing of it own.
The Snow Dragon, which provided the rescue helicopter for the scientists and tourists early this week, is currently attempting to push through thick ice and reach open water, according to reports from Fox News. Although no one is in immediate danger, the Aurora Australis has been ordered to wait about seven miles away in case the Chinese vessel needs assistance.
The Snow Dragon was apparently in sight of the Aurora Australis on Saturday, but was forced to turn back after failing to break through a final section of ice. According to the Chicago Tribune, the ice can be more than ten feet thick in some places.
Both the Snow Dragon and the initially stuck Akademik Shokalskiy vessel will have to wait for a spell of good weather to return to open water. Twenty-two crewmembers remain on the motionless Akademik Shokalskiy, which is carrying enough supplies for several weeks.