[QODLink]
Europe
Russian fishing boat stuck near the Antarctic
Holed by an iceberg, Sparta's crew struggles to keep situation under control as they wait for rescue ships.
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2011 08:34

A Russian fishing vessel has been stranded in icy Antarctic waters for the past two days after being holed by an iceberg, and is in a "precarious position", New Zealand rescuers said.

The crew of the Sparta had a scare overnight on Saturday when temporary patches placed over the damaged section of hull failed and the boat began taking on water again.

But several hours later they reported they again had the situation under control.

The Russian-flagged Sparta, with a crew of 32, sent out a distress call early Friday from near the Antarctic ice shelf when it was holed 1.5m below the water line.

It will be several days before rescue ships can make their way through heavy sea ice to reach the vessel about 3,704km southeast of New Zealand.

However, a New Zealand Air Force Hercules was able to fly over the Sparta late Saturday and drop off extra pumping equipment and fuel.

Al Jazeera's Roza Kazan prepared this report.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.