Sunday, November 25, 2007

154 passengers rescued after cruiseliner crash in Antarctic Ocean, Posted by Robert Paisola 11-25-07 1:51 AM MST

A total of 154 on board a luxury cruiseliner which sank after hitting an iceberg in the Antarctic Ocean were rescued on Friday.

The stricken Explorer is now listing at 45 degrees near the South Shetland Islands, off the Argentinian coast, Sky news reported.

The 100 passengers and 54 crew were evacuated on lifeboats and after enduring temperatures of minor 5 degree Celsius. Among them were 24 British, four Irish, 14 Americans, 12 Canadians and 10 Australians.

They were then ferried to cruiseship the Nord Norge, which was one of five boats sent to the scene, before sending back to Port Ushuaia, Argentina.

Nord Norge captain Arnvid Hansen said, "Everybody is in a good position. People are cold but there is no hypothermia."

Two crew stayed on board for a time to pump out water from the Explorer, which suffered a 25cm by 10cm rupture in its hull after hitting the iceberg. The cruiseliner is expected to sink into the 2,000 feet depths.

The Explorer, which set out from Ushuaia on the southern tip of Argentina on Nov. 11 for a 19-day trip through Drake Passage, is owned and chartered by Canada-based Gap Adventures.
The vessel, one of the best-known specialist cruise ships in the world, has run aground before in Antarctica. It grounded on rocks off Weincke Island in December 1979.
The Chilean Navy participated on Friday in a successful international operation rescuing a cruise liner's 100 passengers and 54 crew members after the boat crashed against an iceberg in the Antarctic Ocean.

The 2,400-ton cruise liner M/S Explorer hit an iceberg early Friday near King George island in the Antarctic Ocean near a Chilean base and the Shetland del Sur islands. Full story
Ship carrying 154 people sinking in Antarctic

BEIJING, Nov. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A ship carrying 154 people struck an object in Antarctic waters and is sinking, Britain's Coast Guard said Friday.

All passengers have been evacuated from the ship named Explorer, said Neil Oliver of the Coast Guard station at Falmouth, England. Full story

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