WELLINGTON - A Russian fishing vessel with a damaged hull trapped in Antarctica for nearly two weeks has been patched up and freed from pack ice, New Zealand rescue authorities said on Wednesday.
The 48-meter (157-feet) Sparta, with a crew of 32, had been anchored to the Antarctic ice shelf around 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km) southeast of New Zealand after ice ripped a hole in its hull and it started taking on water on Dec 15.
The New Zealand airforce made two air drops of equipment and material to help the crew make temporary repairs and pump water out of the vessel.
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