TODAY

TODAY   |  December 31, 2013

Expedition representative: No ‘Plan C’ for icebound ship

A spokesperson for the passengers of a Russian research ship trapped in ice off the coast of Antarctica, says they have enough fresh food for another two weeks and dried food for an additional two weeks. However, he believes a helicopter rescue will occur within the next 24 hours.

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

>>> is the expedition spokesperson. good morning.

>> good morning, how are you?

>> i'm doing well, thanks. you're joining us from australia on the phone. the weather has been so bad where the ship is that even you were not able to communicate with them this morning. does that concern you at all that what we're looking at as the closest possible rescue is a helicopter rescue?

>> caller: no, i'm not concerned. they're expecting bad weather and expecting it to pass with time. i imagine sometime in the next 12 hours, once they get the window it's easy to come in and pick them up and fly them out.

>> how many trips will need to be made to get everybody off the ship.

>> caller: 12 people in the helicopter at a time and you're looking at 52. so four to five.

>> you have nearly 2 dozen crew members staying on the ship. what will they be doing and how long do you anticipate they'll be there?

>> caller: that depends on the elements. they'll be waiting it out. they have plenty of food. in fact, they are almost stocked for the full season down there and they'll be waiting for the blizzards to pass by and the change in the wind direction . the big problem they had is the winds have been south easterly. that's what created this ice. if we get westerly winds come through, it could move away and they could thaw out under their own steam.

>> when it comes to wind, that could be dangerous for the helicopter. that was the plan b. if you can't do the chopper, is there a plan c?

>> caller: not that i'm aware of. but they do have multiterrain vehicles. they're more likely to just wait until there is a good window and that will probably be in the next 24 hours and they have enough food for all the passengers and everyone on board. fresh food for two weeks and dry food after that if they need it for another two weeks. i don't think there will be an issue.

>> hopefully they don't have drive into the dried source. thank