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Australian Rescuers Close To Freeing Trapped Antarctic Supply Ship

ANTARCTICA (voa) – Australian rescuers in the Antarctic say they are close to freeing a supply ship trapped for a month in pack ice.

After heavy winds dropped early Sunday, the icebreaker Aurora Australis began a 12-hour operation to break through eight kilometers of ice to reach the Polar Bird.

The ship got trapped last month while trying to ferry supplies to the Australian outpost of Mawson Station.

Earlier this week, a helicopter shuttled 34 expeditioners from the Polar Bird to the Aurora, leaving 25 people aboard.

Rescuers hope clear weather will continue long enough for the supply ship to be freed and allow it to make its way to the southern Australian port of Hobart.

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