Latest rescue efforts in Antarctic fail

The latest attempt to free a ship trapped in Antarctic ice for nearly a week was called off due to bad weather on Monday.

The Russian ship, with over 70 people on board, has been stuck since Christmas Eve after a blizzard's winds pushed seas ice around it.

The vessel isn't in danger of sinking, and there is weeks' worth of supplies for the scientists, tourists and crew on board.

Before the rescue was called off on Monday, one of the expedition members on board said the stranded passengers were in good spirits.

"We're standing on the leeward side of the boat and we're all in a really good mood because the (Aurora) Australis (vessel) is only 20 kilometers away and we're looking forward to seeing her. The weather is due to clear later in the day so we're all happy about that," said Australasian Antarctic Expedition member Terry Gostlow.

A Chinese icebreaker called the Snow Dragon was also in the area after it failed to reach the stranded ship during a rescue attempt last week.

An Australian Antarctic Division Vessel, called the Aurora Australis, abandoned the latest attempt to free the vessel due to 30-knot winds, snow showers and poor visibility.

 Speaking before the rescue attempt was abandoned, Aurora Australis Captain Murray Doyle said he hoped for favorable conditions.

He said ramming the ice around the trapped ship was his "first option."

"From all our reports there's a fair bit of ice about. We're hoping there's some clear weather. It has been pretty foggy and snowing around the place of recent, so hopefully the weather clears up so we can see a good sight of what the situation is and act accordingly," Doyle said.

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