It looks like the “rescued” climate scientists, journalists, and tourists will have to wait on-board the Aurora Australis awhile longer while this episode plays out. There is still a lot of ice ahead according to the webcam on Aurora Australis (seen below) which had been slowed to a crawl, making only 1/4 knot.
Press release: 4.30pm AEDT Friday 03 January 2014
Aurora Australis on standby as a precautionary measure
Xue Long notified AMSA at 1pm AEDT this afternoon it has concerns about their ability to move through heavy ice in the area.
The Aurora Australis has been placed on standby by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) to remain in open water in the area as a precautionary measure.
The Xue Long has advised RCC Australia that it will attempt to manoeuvre through the ice when tidal conditions are most suitable during the early hours of 4 January 2014.
There is no immediate danger to personnel on board the Xue Long.
Meanwhile, the beginning of this domino effect has been traced back to a sightseeing expedition by the passengers of the Akademik Shokalskiy that spent too much time getting back on the ship.