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The Aurora Australis research ship successfully rescued after strong blizzard strands it on East Antarctica

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The Aurora Australis, a polar research ship was left stranded on February 25, 2016, after an intense blizzard hit Mawson Station on East Antarctica, a day before. 37 people have been rescued on February 26 and 31 remained onboard to refloat the vessel.

A 94-meter (308.4 feet) ship broke from its anchoring on the morning of February 24 when the storm hit the region. Violent winds up to 209.2 km/h (130 mph) were recorded at the time of the incident, as the gusts of ice and snow battered the upper deck of the ice-breaker.

Video credit: World Latest News

A breach in the ship's hull has been discovered. However, it seems to be located in the area where it posed no threat to the stability of the vessel of fuel leaking into the environment, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) said.

Following the several hours long refloating processes, the vessel was said to be transferred to a nearby sheltered area for inspections.

Video credit: World Latest News

The Aurora Australis weighs 3.911 tonnes, can remain at sea for 90 days, and is capable of reaching average speeds of 30 km/h (18.6 mph). It can cut through the 1.2 m (3.8 feet) thick ice. The vessel was carrying out marine science survey at the time of the incident.

Featured image credit: World Latest News

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