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Rescue operation begins for Antarctic ice-bound ship

2 January 2014 Last updated at 06:52 GMT

A passenger on board an ice-bound research vessel stuck in the Antarctic has been describing the start of a rescue operation.

Andrew Luck-Baker from the BBC's Science Unit said those trapped expected to be leaving the Akademik Shokalskiy in the next few hours.

Earlier a Chinese helicopter arrived close to the vessel, bringing in a crew to assess the landing situation.

The Shokalskiy has been trapped since Christmas Eve. Its 22 crew were expected to remain on board once the 52 scientists and tourists have left.

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