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Ship involved in Antarctic rescue faces trouble

Friday - 1/3/2014, 4:50am  ET

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- A trip back to land is on hold again for 52 scientists and tourists who were rescued from a Russian research vessel stuck in ice in the Antarctic.

The passengers were retrieved from the icebound ship by helicopter Thursday, and they've been headed to the Australian state of Tasmania. But the Australian icebreaker has been told to stay put for now because a Chinese icebreaker that supplied the helicopter fears it may get stuck in ice as well.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says the Chinese vessel Snow Dragon is at the edge of the ice pack surrounding the stuck Russian vessel, and it's trying to make its way into open water.

The 52 rescued passengers had been on the Russian research ship that got stuck in ice on Christmas Eve. The ship's crew plans to stay on board and has weeks' worth of supplies.

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