Fishing vessel is freed from Antarctic ice

A Russian fishing vessel stuck for 12 days and in danger of sinking in the frigid waters off Antarctica began a trek through 100 miles of sea ice to open water yesterday.

The Sparta hit underwater ice on 16 December, tearing a 1ft hole in its hull. Heavy ice in the Ross Sea prevented help from reaching the stricken vessel for 10 days, forcing the Sparta's crew to pump out near-frozen sea water to keep the ship afloat.

The South Korean icebreaker Araon finally arrived on Monday, and repairs were completed by yesterday morning.