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Russian ship freed from Antarctic ice

It was trapped in Antarctica for nearly two weeks The patched-up Russian fishing boat Sparta has completed temporary repairs and set sail from the Antarctic, ending a 12-day battle to stay afloat in icy waters."Repairs on the stricken vessel Sparta are complete. She is now heading north to rendezvous with her sister ship Chiyo Maru No 3 in the open ocean," said rescue coordinator Tracy Brickles.The Sparta, with a crew of 32, had been stranded near the Antarctic ice shelf for 12 days after being holed below the waterline while heavy ice prevented nearby vessels from giving immediate assistance.Pumps and fuel dropped from a New Zealand air force Hercules helped keep the vessel afloat until a South Korean icebreaker reached it on Christmas Day with equipment to speed up repairs."The Korean icebreaker Araon will escort Sparta and open an ice lane to allow both vessels to make their way from the ice shelf," Ms Brickles said.A small amount of light hydraulic oil appears to have escaped around the tear in the hull, but there have been no signs of any heavy fuel oil having leaked.The Sparta is expected to make its way to New Zealand, 2,000 nautical miles away, for ...

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Sparta, Leaking Russian Fishing Vessel, Helped By Ship Off Antarctica

Stuck in the frigid waters off Antarctica for 10 days A South Korean polar research ship on Monday reached a leaking Russian fishing vessel that has been stuck in the frigid waters off Antarctica for the past 10 days, New Zealand officials said.The Sparta, with 32 crew on board, hit underwater ice on Dec. 16 that tore a 1-foot (30-centimeter) hole in its hull and caused it to list at 13 degrees. Several rescue ships had been hampered by heavy ice in the Ross Sea off the northern Antarctica coast before the icebreaker Araon finally pushed through and reached the Sparta on Monday, New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center spokeswoman Rosalie Neilson said.The arrival was a relief to the crew, which had been desperately pumping out near-frozen sea water while awaiting rescue. At one point, more than half of those on board were forced onto life rafts.The crew is made up of 15 Russians, 16 Indonesians and one Ukrainian.A New Zealand air force cargo plane had previously made two parachute drops of pumps and hull patching gear that had helped keep the single-hulled Sparta from sinking.Search and rescue coordinator Mike Roberts said the South Korean vessel was alongside Sparta transferring fuel ...

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Progress update on repairs to FV SPARTA in Southern Ocean

Very good progress is being made with the repairs The Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) is reporting that very good progress is being made with repairs to the damaged shell plating on FV SPARTAin the Southern Ocean.Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Mike Roberts says repairsare well in hand with good progress being made to repair the internal damage. A cement box will be secured to the inside of shell plating which will make the vessel seaworthy.Mr Roberts said, "For safety reasons it is not possible to access the exterior damage in SPARTA's current location.Since the bow was raised above water level a second hole has been discovered on SPARTA's bulbous bow, but this has only caused localised flooding in a small, contained space in this area. It should not affect her making safe passage. This second hole can also not be repaired at her current location."Mike Roberts said, "A slight area of light sheen has been sighted in the area of the bulbous bow. It is not likely to be fuel and is thought to be a small escape of hydraulic oil. It is not continuously running out of the vessel.Korean Research vessel ARAON is expected to remain alongside SPARTAwhile repair ...

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Sparta, Russian Fishing Ship Stuck Near Antarctica, Receives Aid

Heavy sea ice was hampering rescue efforts A New Zealand air force cargo plane flew to Antarctica on Wednesday to parachute sea pumps and hull patches to a leaking Russian fishing vessel that has been stuck in the frigid waters after striking sea ice last week.The vessel Sparta, with 32 crew in board, hit underwater ice Friday that tore a 1-foot (30-centimeter) hole in its hull and caused it to list at 13 degrees. Rescue ships, hampered by heavy sea ice, were still several days away from the Ross Sea shelf area of northern Antarctica where the stricken ship sits immobilized.Maritime New Zealand, which is coordinating rescue attempts, said Wednesday that this second air drop of vital pumps and patches will help the crew in its fight to keep the ship afloat.Rescue Coordination Center spokesman Ross Henderson confirmed the successful drop of three pallets of equipment by a New Zealand Defense Force C-130 Hercules plane onto the ice near the stricken vessel mid-afternoon Wednesday."The crew will now recover the equipment and focus on making more permanent repairs to the hole in the side of the ship," he said in a statement.Search and rescue mission coordinator John Dickson said the crew's ...

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