Research Vessel Rescue Effort Faces Tough Antarctic Conditions

Ice breakers delayed in reaching the stranded ship forcing scientists to hold out even longer.
3:00 | 12/28/13

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Transcript for Research Vessel Rescue Effort Faces Tough Antarctic Conditions
the minute-by-minute drama playing out on the frozen high seas. A rescue mission to free a ship trapped by thick ice in antarctica is running into trouble this morning. Conditions too rough to reach the stranded ship. Wait until you see how the scientists onboard are making the best of it. Gio benitez has been following this. Reporter: Good morning. Rescuers are trying to figure out how to get to the stranded ship. One of the rescue crews got stuck, too. And another is at the edge of the ice but can't get through. This morning, in the midst of brutal storms, this chinese ice breaker sent to free the stranden ship, ended up in the same frozen mess and couldn't get through. Forced to turn back. Leaving the 74 tourists and researchers onboard trapped by ice. We're perfectly safe. But we can't make it forward. Reporter: They're enduring low temperatures and 50-mile-per-hour winds. Chris turney, joining us from antarctica. It's frustrating that we can see hope and help. But at the moment, we're just in an isolated position still. Reporter: They were so hopeful. On the horizon. That's the ice breaker coming to rescue us. Brilliant. Reporter: Those penguins in the foreground, the chinese ice breaker in the back. Now, the hope is another ice breaker on the way from australia, can make it through the ice. The stranded ship first got stuck christmas morning, on the way back to australia, after visiting a legendary polar exploration site in antarctica. When the ice first forms around the ship, open water was just two miles away. Now, that ice field has grown dramatically. The ocean is now 13 miles away. Ice breakers need to be strong enough to push through all of that ice. Is there any part of you that is just really concerned about what's happening right now? Some of the australians are complaining about the amount of beer we've got left. But overall, I think we're all pretty good. Just looking forward to getting home. Reporter: Trapped in unbelievably harsh conditions. Instead of panicking, these explorers are, what else? Doing more research. We're keeping busy. Reporter: An amazing spirit there. You can see the bad weather still in the area during our interview. The australian ice breaker could take days to reach the stranded ship. They have seven weeks worth of food just in case this goes on and on. Do we know, gio, do they have beer on the australian ice break center. Out of beer. Wow. Okay. I see an airlift in their future. Turning to a health alert

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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