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Repairs to stricken Russian fishing boat in Antarctica going well, New Zealand authorities say
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) ' New Zealand authorities say repairs are going well on a damaged Russian fishing ship listing in frigid waters off Antarctica for 11 days.
The Sparta hit underwater ice Dec. 16 that tore its hull, and heavy ice in the Ross Sea prevented help until Monday. Before the South Korean icebreaker Araon arrived, the Sparta's crew had been desperately pumping out near-frozen sea water and some had boarded life rafts.
New Zealand's Rescue Coordination Center said good progress was made on internal repairs but the external damage could not be repaired for safety reasons. The repairs still are expected to make the Sparta seaworthy.
The center's statement Tuesday said the Araon would escort the Sparta to ice-free open ocean after the repairs are done.