Russian Tanker Begins Escort Out of Ice

Friday, September 13 2013

The Russian diesel tanker that was stuck in the ice in the Northern Sea Route is now being escorted out by nuclear icebreakers.

The tanker Nordvik was carrying nearly 5 thousand tons of diesel when it hit an ice floe last week.  A ballast tank was ruptured but crews were able to plug the leak.  The vessel was stuck for several days before other ships could arrive.   In the last couple days, the  Nordvik pumped 1800 tons of the fuel to another tanker, the  Boris Vilkitsky. The ship is now on its way to its home port of Khatanga.

According to Russian Northern Sea Route Authorities, the tanker violated its permit by operating in seas with medium ice conditions without an icebreaker escort.  The ship is not rated for ice conditions.

The Northern Sea Route connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through ice choked waters north of Russia. As as August 30th, a record 481 ships had received permits to operate along the the Northern Sea Route.  

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