Passengers rescued after being stranded in Antarctica

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (WFLX) - All 52 passengers that were stranded on a ship in Antarctica have been safely rescued.

The researchers have been trapped in heavy ice since Christmas Eve. They were brought by helicopter to an Australian ship that will take them to the island of Tasmania, but the journey home is just beginning.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority say the passengers shouldn't expect to be in Australia before mid-January -- at the earliest. "The ship is currently planned to passage to Casey Base, which is some distance to the west. It's about four to five days' passage," said John Young. "She then has a few days of operations there to complete a resupply operation for Casey. That itself is weather-dependent, so it's difficult to say how long that will take."

The ship's crew are staying on board the trapped ship until the ice breaks up, and it can move again.

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