TODAY   |  December 28, 2013

Ice foils rescue of boat stuck near Antarctica

Scientists and crew remain trapped in Antarctica after a Chinese icebreaker could not complete a rescue. An Australian icebreaker is now heading in to help. NBC’s Martin Fletcher reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> latest on that russian ship stuck in the ice near the south pole . another icebreaker is on the way this morning to help free it. this after a chinese rescue vessel that was on the way to save the 74 people on board could move no further. it could stuck in the ice as well. martin fletcher is in london now with the latest. martin, good morning.

>> reporter: lester, good morning. if anything, the weather there is getting worse meaning no early rescue for the research ship and not only that, the chinese icebreaker, the snow dragon is all but stuck and it may need help.

>> as you can see, the weather is closed in!

>> reporter: the latest youtube report from the leader stuck in ice since christmas eve acknowledges they may be stuck for a few more days yet. imts-of- --

>> it's our fourth day now trapped. to let family and friends know everyone is okay.

>> reporter: they could see the snow dragon about six nautical miles away but snow has closed in. after a french icebreaker gave up, an australian one is now heading in to help and it sent these stills from its web cam showing frigid waters as it moves toward the coldest and windest spot on earth.

>> the two were hoping to break in.

>> reporter: if not the snow dragon, a helicopter that could ferry the passengers off the research ship but even that could be a problem. right now, the chopper can't take off because of the snow. and the longer it takes, the more the wind pushes ice against the trapped ship. they say the ice gripping his ship is ten feet thick but they are become the intimate two.

>> stuck here and any passing ships, please pay us a visit!

>> brilliant!

>> they have enough food and water for two weeks but nobody thinks it will come to that. while stuck, they are continuing with their scientific experiments and apparently having fun with the internet.