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Aurora rescue

Passengers rescued after ten days of being stranded in Antarctic. Image: Picture: Andrew Peacock / www.footloosefotography.com 

All 52-passengers who spent Christmas and New Year trapped on board an Australian icebreaker in the Antarctic have been rescued by helicopter.

A helicopter from a nearby Chinese icebreaker successfully picked up the scientists, journalists and tourists who had been stranded for ten days after the Aurora Australis got stuck in thick ice.

“It’s 100 percent we’re off!” an Australian passenger on board the ship tweeted.

Officials had started several rescue missions before the Chinese vessel sailed into the area but were forced to abandon attempts because of harsh weather conditions.

Aurora Australis chief mate Robert Darvill told CNN all passengers on board the ship were in high spirits and kept thanking crew for their efforts.

“They are on their second dinner of the night right now,” he said.

Now that passengers are off the vessel, rescue teams will attempt to move Aurora Australis out of the thick ice and into open water. Afterward it will make its way to an Australian base in Antarctica for resupply before sailing to Hobart.