With storms rain and high winds battering the UK at the moment you will be glad of buying your new outdoor coats and jackets for Christmas, but do have a thought for those people who are stranded off the coast of East Antarctica. A third attempt to rescue them has been suspended because of fierce winds and poor visibility.

The Aurora Australis icebreaker did reach within seven nautical miles of the stranded ship but was forced back and has reached clear water and is waiting for conditions to improve before making another attempt. The Russian ship ‘Akademik Shokalskiy’ has been stuck in the ice since Christmas Eve, but is well stocked with supplies and the seventy-four scientists, tourists and crew are in no immediate danger.

Earlier attempts to reach them by Chinese and French icebreakers were also curtailed by the thick ice which is unusual for this time of year, the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. The ship is currently used by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition to follow the route used by explorer Douglas Mawson a hundred years ago. However the Aurora is currently taking up a new position to locate a new route to the ice bound vessel.

Despite their position the scientists trapped on board have continued with their experiments, measuring temperature changes and also the salinity of the underlying water through cracks in the ice that surrounds them. The tourists aboard have had some excellent photographic opportunities as the penguin population has investigated this new visitor to their environment.

The passengers and crew can, as a last resort be winched from the ship by helicopter, but this too is dependent on the prevailing weather conditions. At present the area is experiencing winds of up to thirty knots (35mph for us landlubbers) and snow showers which is hampering visibility.

So where ever you are in the world, at home or abroad you need to make sure you have the best outdoor coats and jackets available. And here at Outdoor Look you know you will find the best quality and prices, backed up by our excellent customer service, so check out the website now!