Yesterday, 27th of May 2013, Russian government approved the plans to evacuate sixteen people and large amount of materials from the floating research station ´´North Pole – 40´´ that has been drifting close to the North Pole.
The nuclear powered research icebreaker ´´Yamal´´ is now preparing to leave the Arctic waters on the rescue mission. The vessel is planned to leave Murmansk at the end of this week and it will reach its home station about two weeks later.
The cost of this action is estimated to reach close to 1.6 million Euros.
The Arctic ice has now broken up in pieces and makes it impossible for the crew to be rescued by plane or helicopter. The ice ridging on the floe does not allow building an airstrip for any plane. The floe has drifted out of reach for helicopters.
Russian government claims that the ´´North Pole – 40´´ research icebreaker will continue its work in the Arctic even after it has been removed from the ice floe.
An abandoned Polar station on Severnaya Zemlya is now being prepared to host Arctic researchers and their equipment.
Russian drifting station ´´North Pole – 40´´ has been an important contributor to exploration of the Arctic. It carries out the program of complex year – round research fields of oceanology, ice studies, meteorology, aerology, geophysics, hydro-chemistry and marine biology.
The "North Pole – 40" is organized by Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.