Russian fishing ship listing badly near Antarctica - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Russian fishing ship listing badly near Antarctica


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A Russian fishing vessel with 32 crew members is in trouble and taking on water near Antarctica, and heavy sea ice is hampering rescue attempts.

In a release, Maritime New Zealand said the vessel Sparta is listing at 13 degrees next to the Antarctic ice shelf in the Ross Sea. The agency said the crew, still safe at this point, are throwing cargo overboard to try and lighten the ship.

The Sparta sent a distress call early Friday. The agency said heavy ice in the Southern Ocean will make it difficult for other ships to reach the Sparta.

The Sparta's sister ship Chiyo Maru No. 3 is 290 nautical miles away and heading toward the vessel but has no capacity to cut through sea ice, the agency said. A New Zealand vessel with some ice-cutting ability is also en route, but is four or five days away.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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