February 26, 2016 2:42 pm

WATCH: Time lapse of Antarctic blizzard that stranded 68 aboard ship

A time lapse video shows massive blizzard that forced Antarctic icebreaker to run aground.


On Wednesday a major blizzard struck Mawson Station, Antarctica, which caused a ship to break free of its mooring lines. The Aurora Australis, with 68 passengers and crew aboard, ran aground at West Arm in Horseshoe Harbour.

READ MORE: Heading to Antarctica? Be prepared for the wild and unexpected

The ship, which left Hobart, Australia, on a science mission, ran aground shortly after 9:15 a.m. local time as the high winds and blinding snow enveloped the area. Fortunately the hull remained intact and all passengers were reported as safe.

The Australian Antarctic Division was unable to attempt any rescue until the winds died down to at least 55 km/h. On Thursday, things took a turn when it was revealed that the hull had indeed been breached. Fortunately the breach was in an area that is usually flooded with ballast water (rather than fuel).

Finally, on Friday, the crew and passengers were able to be rescued once the winds died down and conditions improved.

As well as being the coldest continent on Earth, Antarctica is also the windiest. Sometimes blizzards can last for days.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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