Chilean military tugboat rushing to Antarctica in bid to prevent ecological disaster after Chinese fishing ship catches fire

18 Apr

Originally posted on National Post | News:

SANTIAGO, Chile — A Chilean military tugboat is heading to Antarctica to avoid an ecological disaster where a Chinese fishing ship caught fire.

The Kai Xin vessel burned off the coast of Antarctica Wednesday. Its 97 crew members were rescued by a Norwegian ship close to Chile’s research base near the Antarctic peninsula.

Capt. Juan Marcelo Villegas is maritime governor for Chile’s portion of Antarctica and he says the ship has moved about 5 miles (7 kilometers) north, drifting unmanned in zigzags near pointy glaciers.

He says a navy tugboat left port near the southern tip of South America to tow the ship to harbor.

Fog forced Chile’s air force to cancel a flight Thursday to check on the ship’s condition, but Villegas says the ship is not at risk of sinking.

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