Russian arctic boffins safe and sound

Successful helicopter airlift from remains of base

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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