American scientists rescued from remote island in Antarctica

A group of American scientists have been rescued after they were trapped on an Antarctic island surrounded by ice.

The four scientists, a staff member and nearly 900 pounds of equipment were successfully airlifted by helicopter Sunday in a two-and-a-half hour rescue conducted Sunday.

They were transported to an Argentinian icebreaker and will be taken to a U.S. vessel by a small boat when weather conditions improve.

“The U.S. Antarctic Program expresses its gratitude to their Argentine colleagues for their willingness to help,” The National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs said in a statement.

All five Americans were reported to be in good health.

The four scientists, led by Earth science researcher Alex Simms of UC Santa Barbara and a National Science Foundation support contractor from Colorado, have been conducting research on Joinville Island, off the north eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

NASA releases close-up images of giant iceberg in Antarctica:

7 PHOTOS
NASA releases stunning close-up images of giant new iceberg in Antarctica
See Gallery
NASA releases stunning close-up images of giant new iceberg in Antarctica
Photographed by NASA, the A-68 iceberg is one of the largest ever observed on Earth.
Photographed by NASA, the A-68 iceberg is one of the largest ever observed on Earth.
Photographed by NASA, the A-68 iceberg is one of the largest ever observed on Earth.
Photographed by NASA, the A-68 iceberg is one of the largest ever observed on Earth.
UNSPECIFIED, ANTARCTICA - OCTOBER 31: The western edge of the famed iceberg A-68 (TOP R), calved from the Larsen C ice shelf, is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft, near the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula region, on October 31, 2017, above Antarctica. The massive iceberg was measured at approximately the size of Delaware when it first calved in July. NASA's Operation IceBridge has been studying how polar ice has evolved over the past nine years and is currently flying a set of nine-hour research flights over West Antarctica to monitor ice loss aboard a retrofitted 1966 Lockheed P-3 aircraft. According to NASA, the current mission targets 'sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Weddell seas and glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula and along the English and Bryan Coasts.' Researchers have used the IceBridge data to observe that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may be in a state of irreversible decline directly contributing to rising sea levels. The National Climate Assessment, a study produced every 4 years by scientists from 13 federal agencies of the U.S. government, released a stark report November 2 stating that global temperature rise over the past 115 years has been primarily caused by 'human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases'. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, ANTARCTICA - OCTOBER 31: The western edge of the famed iceberg A-68 (TOP R), calved from the Larsen C ice shelf, is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft, near the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula region, on October 31, 2017, above Antarctica. The massive iceberg was measured at approximately the size of Delaware when it first calved in July. NASA's Operation IceBridge has been studying how polar ice has evolved over the past nine years and is currently flying a set of nine-hour research flights over West Antarctica to monitor ice loss aboard a retrofitted 1966 Lockheed P-3 aircraft. According to NASA, the current mission targets 'sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Weddell seas and glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula and along the English and Bryan Coasts.' Researchers have used the IceBridge data to observe that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may be in a state of irreversible decline directly contributing to rising sea levels. The National Climate Assessment, a study produced every 4 years by scientists from 13 federal agencies of the U.S. government, released a stark report November 2 stating that global temperature rise over the past 115 years has been primarily caused by 'human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases'. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, ANTARCTICA - OCTOBER 31: The western edge of the famed iceberg A-68 (TOP R), calved from the Larsen C ice shelf, is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft, near the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula region, on October 31, 2017, above Antarctica. The massive iceberg was measured at approximately the size of Delaware when it first calved in July. NASA's Operation IceBridge has been studying how polar ice has evolved over the past nine years and is currently flying a set of nine-hour research flights over West Antarctica to monitor ice loss aboard a retrofitted 1966 Lockheed P-3 aircraft. According to NASA, the current mission targets 'sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Weddell seas and glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula and along the English and Bryan Coasts.' Researchers have used the IceBridge data to observe that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may be in a state of irreversible decline directly contributing to rising sea levels. The National Climate Assessment, a study produced every 4 years by scientists from 13 federal agencies of the U.S. government, released a stark report November 2 stating that global temperature rise over the past 115 years has been primarily caused by 'human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases'. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

They requested help from Argentina when it became clear the nearest U.S. vessel, Laurence M. Gould, was unable to break through the thick sea ice to get to them. 

The group is now planning to return to Punta Arenas, Chile, where the U.S. Antarctic Program headquarters is located.

RELATED STORIES:
Dramatic Video Captures Rescue of Woman Who Went Overboard While Taking Cruise Ship Selfie
Man Caught in Avalanche Rescued, Thanks to Skier Who Spotted Snowboard Sticking Out of Snow
Couple Shipwrecked Overnight Rescued After Writing 'HELP' in the Sand

Read Full Story