Ship back home after icy rescue

Last updated 11:12 22/01/2014

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The Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis has arrived in Hobart with the 52 passengers rescued in Antarctica from their stranded Russian ship.

The Aurora docked about 7am (AEDT) on Wednesday, nearly three weeks after a dramatic rescue near Commonwealth Bay.

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy, chartered by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition to retrace the steps of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, became stuck in thick sea ice on Christmas Eve.

The Aurora Australis was diverted from a resupply mission to Casey station to assist in the rescue.

It completed its mission before returning to Hobart with the rescued passengers.

"We have tried to minimise disruption to our science and other programs but it is too early to determine in detail the flow-on effects to our programmes," Australian Antarctic Division director Dr Tony Fleming said in a statement.

Passengers were expected to begin disembarking the Aurora later on Wednesday.

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- AAP

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