The Mikhail Somov in Franz Josef Land. Photo: Floating University on VK

After ten days aground in Franz Josef Land, researchers are evacuated from wrecked ship

Divers found damages to the hull of the research ship, and Arctic expedition was aborted.
August 07, 2023


The almost 50 years old vessel ran aground in shallow waters between the islands of Komsomolsky and Wilczek Land on the 24th of July. On board were 91 people, including a group of university students from Arkhangelsk.

The ship was on its way to or from the nearby Krenkel research station and the plan was to visit a total of 21 research stations across the Russian Arctic. About 800 tons of equipment was to be delivered to the remote stations.

Those goods will have to be delivered otherwise. On 2nd of August, the people on board the Mikhail Somov were rescued by Professor Molchanov. Both ships are operated by Semeteo, the regional unit under the Russian Meteorological Service (Roshydromet).

On the 5th of August, the Professor Molchanov sailed southwards with the evacuated passengers.


The Professor Molchanov was sent from Arkhangelsk to rescue the passengers and crew of the wrecked Mikhail Somov. Photo: the Floating University on VK


The divers that were brought to site by the Professor Molchanov concluded that the hull of the Mikhail Somov is too damaged to continue the voyage, the expedition social media page informs.


It is unclear what will now happen to the aging ship.

On board the ship is a helicopter.





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