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154 passengers in sinking Antarctic cruiseliner

world Updated: Nov 23, 2007 15:17 IST

Rescue teams are working to save 154 passengers and crew from a cruiseliner sinking in the Antarctic Ocean, a British coastguard spokesman said.

"This morning the Argentine and American coastguards are coordinating the rescue of 154 passengers from the Explorer, which is holed and taking water down in the Antarctic near the south Shetland Islands," Andy Catrell, a British Cornwall coastguards spokesman told Britain's BBC television.

He said British coastguards were helping.

"We don't know what the vessel struck, but it's got a 25 degree list. We've heard that all passengers and crew apart from the master and chief officer have now abandoned the vessel and are in lifeboats," he said.

"There is another vessel, the Antarctic Dream which is about an hour and a half away," he said.

He said the ship had 100 passengers and 54 crew.