A Russian fishing vessel, The Sparta, is taking on water next to the ice shelf of Antarctica. The 32 crew members on board have started to unload cargo in efforts to lighten the ship and some have boarded lifeboats as a precaution. The ship has a 30 centimeter hole in the hull about 1.5 metres below the water line and is listing at 13 degrees. The heavy sea ice surrounding the vessel has prevented any rescue attempts from nearby vessels. The Sparta’s sister ship, the Chiyo Maru No. 3 is 290 nautical miles away and headed towards the stricken vessel but has no ice cutting ability. The unforgiving climate of the area has crew members settling in for a long wait as officials speculate it could be four or five days before another vessel can reach them.
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