Tourists rescued after ship hits ice

Five Swedes are thought to have been among the 154 people rescued from a tourist ship that struck ice off Antarctica early on Friday morning.

Gap Adventures, the company that owns the M/S Explorer, said that all 100 passengers and 54 crew members left the sinking ship on lifeboats before boarding another vessel.

Kenth Grankvist from Gap Shipping was able to confirm that the Swedes on board were all in good health.

“There was one passenger and four crew members. The ship’s captain is Swedish,” he told The Local.

Grankvist said he had spoken to crew members after the completion of the rescue operation.

“They are all now on board the Nordnorge and are absolutely fine,” he said.

The tourist ship ran into difficulties near the South Shetland Islands and began listing shortly after 6am on Friday.

“The M/S Explorer hit a lump of ice off King George Island this morning and the impact left the vessel with a crack in the hull the size of a fist,” Gap Adventures spokeswoman Susan Hayes told the BBC.

The company said that pumps were being used to prevent the ship from sinking after it began taking on water.