An Australian-flagged fishing vessel is stuck in Antarctic ice, with New Zealand authorities dispatching a US Coast Guard icebreaker to rescue it.


The 63-metre Antarctic Chieftain, with 27 aboard, damaged three of its four propellers when it struck ice about 1450km northeast of McMurdo Sound on Tuesday night.


It contacted New Zealand’s Rescue Co-ordination Centre when it could not manoeuvre out of the ice.


RCCNZ deployed the US Coast Guard cutter Polar Star, which was about 500km away, to help the Antarctic Chieftain. It should reach the ailing fishing boat on Thursday night.


The Polar Star has a crew of 150 and was returning from Antarctica after working with the US Antarctic program, based at McMurdo Station.


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