Update: Cruise Ship Stranded in Antarctica Freed by Tug Boat

December 8, 2008

Update: A Chilean tug boat was able to free Ushuaia earlier today, and the cruise ship is now sailing under its own power.

Attempts on Sunday to free the Argentine cruise ship, Ushuaia -- which has been stuck on rocks in the Antarctic Peninsula since Thursday -- proved unsuccessful. The ship's passengers have been safely flown from King George Island in Antarctica back to the city of Ushuaia, from which their ship of the same name had originally departed.

The cruise ship remains stuck on the rocks and tilted to one side. It should be freed on the next high tide and then head back to South America, as its propellers and rudders were deemed undamaged by Chilean naval divers who inspected the ship. Oil spill barriers have been set up to contain the oil leak from the ship, and the wind is blowing the oil toward the open ocean rather than toward any wildlife areas.

We'll keep you posted on the status of Ushuaia.

--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor

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