Chinese boat Xue Long trapped in ice rejects rescue

The Chinese ice-breaker Xue Long, which rescued 52 passengers from a stranded Russian ship in Antarctica, has confirmed to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority that the ship is safe and does not require help.

The Aurora Australis, which was placed on standby to assist Xue Long on Friday after the 15,000-tonne vessel became trapped in heavy ice, has been released from search and rescue.

In a statement on Saturday morning, AMSA confirmed the attempt by Xue Long to move through pack ice was unsuccessful but there was no immediate danger to personnel on board.

"The Xue Long has advised AMSA it has food supplies for several weeks," said the statement.

"The masters of both Akademik Shokalskiy and Xue Long agree that further assistance from Aurora Australis is no longer required and they will be able to provide mutual support to each other.

The Aurora Australis will proceed on its resupply mission to Casey station and then on to Hobart.

"RCC Australia will maintain regular contact with the Xue Long and Akademik Shokalskiy."

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