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Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalsky ends mission in Antarctic Ross Sea

February 24, 2014, 12:36 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
The Russian vessel has made two voyages to the Antarctic coast with Australian researchers and tourists, fanciers of harsh northern nature
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VLADIVOSTOK, February 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalsky has completed its mission in Antarctic Ross Sea and is on the way back to its home port of Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East Region.

The Russian vessel has made two voyages to the Antarctic coast with Australian researchers and tourists, fanciers of harsh northern nature. The voyage with researchers was devoted to first Australian expedition to the Antarctic made a hundred years ago, the leadership of the Far Eastern Scientific-Research Hydrometeorological Institute told Itar-Tass. The Akademik Shokalsky is included in the fleet of this institute, but “the vessel does not have her specific work for many years, because she earns on cruise voyages in Antarctic seas,” director of the institute Yuri Volkov said.

New Zealand’s harbor Bluff served as a port of basing for the Akademik Shokalsky in a mission in the Ross Sea. The Russian vessel has taken passengers onboard at the harbor, sailed with them to Antarctic coast and came back at the port after her voyages.

During a voyage the Akademik Shokalsky was trapped in thick ice at the end of 2013, 180 kilometers east of French Polar station Dumont d’Urville. The vessel was carrying 22 crewmembers and 52 passengers, including Australian researchers of the sixth continent. Several countries dispatched heavy icebreakers for help to the Shokalsky, but they failed to break through ultra-strong winter Antarctic ice.

Early in January winds changed their direction in the area of Akademik Shokalsky’s drifting, the ice around the vessel cracked and she went out of ice captivity to clear water herself. The research vessel is expected to return in Vladivostok on March 15-16. Dock repair will be made on the ship at the port, after that the vessel will go out for a voyage again.

Russian research vessel Professor Khromov, which also belongs to the Far Eastern Hydrometeorological Institute, is about to end her mission in the Ross Sea. She will finalize her last voyage to Antarctic coast and will sail to Russia’s Primorsky Territory in next few days.

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