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Russian arctic boffins safe and sound

Successful helicopter airlift from remains of base

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The 12 Russian scientists stranded on an arctic ice floe have been rescued. Two helicopters made the 1600km round trip from Spitzbergen to collect the dozen boffins - plus two dogs - after most of their base sank into the Greenland Sea last Wednesday.

Operating at extreme range, the two choppers braved temperatures of -25 degrees C to successfully complete their mission.

Base North Pole-32 had broken up because the ice on which is was standing floated too far south. It had travelled around 3,000km since opening in April 2003. ®

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