A new Australian icebreaker has broken into Antarctica to aid in the recovery of the shipwrecked Antarctic research ship, according to media reports.
News.com, citing an Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) spokesperson, reported on Friday that the HMAS Success was heading to the icebound vessel, named M-2, with a crew of four, after being pulled out of the ocean on Monday.
A spokesman for the AMSA told The Australian newspaper the ship was in good condition but was not on a salvage mission.
The spokesman said the team of four people, including a captain and a navigator, was expected to return to Australia on Tuesday.
It is believed the ship has two crew members, one of whom is an Australian, the other is a Dutch.
It was not immediately clear how the crew of M-1 was able to cross the icy barrier between Antarctica and the Ross Sea.
The crew of the first Australian Antarctic research vessel to break into the frozen continent has been unable to contact family or friends.
M-1 broke up at the start of July when it encountered strong winds from the North Atlantic Ocean, but it was unable to find a stable position and crashed into the Ross Ice Shelf, a remote stretch of ice separating the ocean from the Ross Mountains.
The ship was carrying up to 700 tonnes of equipment for the Canadian Antarctic Program, and is now under the care of the Ross Marine Laboratory in Antarctica.