The evacuation of Russian polar explorers from the board of the Magdalena Oldendorff tripped in ice may be completed on Monday already, the Cape Town-based headquarters of the operation to rescue the Russian polar explorers reported.
According to the headquarters, the South African vessel S.A. Agulhas, which was forced to move 526 kilometres north from the Magdalena because of poor weather has started to approach the German vessel again.
The final decision on the resumption of air communication between the rescuers and the Magdalena should be taken within the next few days as soon as the ice situation and weather conditions are thoroughly analysed.
On June 27th-28th, South African helicopters managed to evacuate 68 polar explorers and 2 crewmen from the Magdalena and dispatched some 2 tons of food to it. So, the Russians and the crew remaining on board the German vessel feel quite comfortable now.
The Argentine icebreaker Almirante Irizar plans to reach the rescue operation zone on July 7th-8th. By that time the evacuation of the Russian researchers and part of the crew from the Magdalena is likely to be completed. The Irizar will only have to liberate the German ship from the Antarctic captivity.
Now the ice round the Magdalena is 60 cm thick which is quite easy for the Argentine ship to break.