ABOARD XUELONG, Jan. 7 -- Trapped Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong made a successful escape through heavy sea ice at 18:30 Beijing time (1030 GMT) Tuesday.
Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, has been making consistent efforts to "veer around" the whole day while navigating through thick floes.
The vessel had a difficult time trying to make a turnaround rightward, which started at 5 a.m. Beijing time (2100 GMT Monday), because of the thick ice and the snow covering the floes.
No breakout was made until about 17:50 Beijing time (0950 GMT) when Xuelong pulled a 100 degree turn and strongly pushed away the ice. Under the huge blow, a big floe right ahead suddenly split up and a channel of open waters showed itself. Xuelong quickly voyaged through the channel and broke free of the ice.