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Icebreaker reaches ship trapped in Antarctic for more than a week

YNA / EPA

South Korean icebreaker ''Araon," left, approaches the Russian ship ''Sparta''.

YNA / EPA

Crew members of the Russian ship ''Sparta'' are seen as the South Korean icebreaker ''Araon'' approaches.

The "Sparta," a Russian fishing trawler that has been trapped for more than a week in the Antarctic after a collision with an iceberg left its hull with a rip measuring about 150 centimeters, and its crew of 30 have been met by the South Korean polar research vessel and icebreaker "Aaron."

The icebreaker left New Zealand's second-largest city of Christchurch on Dec. 17 to rescue the Russian ship.

The 7,487-ton "Araon" carrying a 37-member survey team was en route to Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea region of the frozen continent, where South Korea plans to start the construction of the nation's second scientific research base by December of next year. The team is expected to return home in late January, after conducting research for the Jangbogo Scientific Research Base. 

The crews are trying to pump fuel out of the damaged boat so that the leak may be welded shut.

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