The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators has received reports that the vessel, Akademik Shokalskiy, is currently trapped in pack ice off East Antarctica, in the vicinity of Mertz glacier. There is no immediate threat to life and no threat to the environment but the vessel has asked for icebreaker assistance.
Three icebreakers are now en route to the area and are anticipated to arrive in the next couple of days.
Onboard is the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-‐14, “The Spirit of Mawson” a group of scientists and science volunteers, who had paid their own way on the trip. Although this is not an IAATO Member expedition, we are following the situation.
The vessel is due to be operated by IAATO Member, Heritage Expeditions, next month on a voyage to the Ross Sea.