RSV Mikhail Somov returns from Northern Sea Route ice trap to home port

Asia's Tech News Daily

The ship has delivered cargo to 32 stations

Mikhail Somov scientific-research vessel© Vera Kostamo/TASS

ARKHANGELSK, December 2. /TASS/. The research/scientific vessel Mikhail Somov, which had got stuck in the Northern Sea Route, returned to home port Arkhangelsk, TASS correspondent Vera Kostamo onboard the ship reported on Wednesday.

The Mikhail Somov departed from Arkhangelsk on September 15 to deliver cargo to weather stations on the Vaygach, the Severnaya Zemlya, the Izvestiy TsIK and other islands up to the Chukchi Sea. The expedition’s final destination was the Wrangel Island. The ship carried fuel, food, supplies for aerology studies, construction materials, as well as the personnel shifts. At a few stations, specialists of the Meteorology Service’s Northern Division serviced computers, meteorology, energy and communication equipment. The ship’s arrival in Arkhangelsk was due around November 10.

“Onboard are 35 crew members, and 12 expedition members are returning. The [Mikhail] Somov has delivered cargo to 32 stations. The due arrival was November 11, but in reality it happened in December. The complicated ice situation was already during sailing from Arkhangelsk, and certain problems were near the Wrangel Island, but the main problems, of course, were on the return voyage. We plan repairing works,” deputy leader of the Northern Division, Alexei Barakov told TASS.

Earlier, the Mikhail Somov got trapped in a complicated ice situation on the Northern Sea Route. The first problems occurred in early November, but the ship still continued sailing from time to time, and later on she got trapped in the ice to the west from the Vilkitsky Strait. The captain announced the regime of saving water and fuel. The Boris Davydov gas carrier (a tanker of the Yamal LNG project), sailing from China to Sabetta, on November 23 crushed ice and released the Mikhail Somov. On the following day, the ship once again got sealed into another ice floe near the entrance to the Nordenskiold Archipelago. On Thursday, November 25, Yamal LNG’s gas carrier the Rudolf Samoilovich crushed off the ice to release the Mikhail Somov.

TASS reported earlier about numerous vessels in the Northern Sea Route’s eastern part, which drifted waiting to be taken through ice. The Ministry for Development of the Far East and Arctic said the navigation plans for November were based on incorrect ice forecasts.

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