ARKHANGELSK, August 20. /TASS/. The Mikhail Somov research vessel on Tuesday returned to Arkhangelsk after it had delivered cargo to 37 polar stations in the Arctic, the expedition’s leader Dmitry Larionov told TASS.
"Within two months, the vessel visited 37 hard-to-reach stations to which it delivered food, fuel," he said. "At the stations, specialists checked meteorology equipment."
"To the Fedorov station on the Vaigach Island we have delivered volunteers, who will complete installation of equipment, protecting the staff from polar bears - the icebreaker will pick up the volunteers the next voyage," he said.
The expedition to the polar stations is a joint project of the Russian hydro-meteorology service’s Northern branch and of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), he added.
Polar bears appear near the station on the Vaigach rather often. Thus, the protective equipment would be tested there, the expedition’s leader said. Earlier, on that station specialists installed video cameras as well as bars on windows and doors. If the protective equipment proves to be effective, it will be installed at other polar stations, near which predators live. In Russia’s Arctic zone such are about ten stations.
The expedition’s route was in the White, Barents and Kara Seas to the Heiss Island on Franz Josef Land. At the northernmost polar station specialists installed new equipment for the atmosphere’s aerology probes. "There is a new-model sensor, and special equipment will follow it up - as yet in a test mode, but later on it will work there permanently," Larionov said, adding a new pole at the meteorology station had been installed on the Cape Zhelaniya on the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago.
The Mikhail Somov’s next voyage - to the Wrangel Island - is due on August 28.