Permanently functioning station McMurdo is one of the oldest and largest research stations in Antarctic situated on the shore of the Ross Sea.
A number of circumstances caused the National research fund of the US Government to address a request to render assistance. Firstly, one of the American icebreakers is under the long-term repair. And by the set practice, supplying of the polar stations with necessary products and equipment is provided by two icebreakers — «Polar Sea» and «Polar Star» which are controlled by the US Coastguard. Secondly, reasoning from the danger of worsening of the ice situation in the region with respect to the previous years, and also bearing in mind the short term of navigation, the American side decided to send to the Ross Sea the 2nd icebreaker. It was not the random selection of the Russian icebreaker. Russia has the most powerful icebreaking fleet in the world. Moreover, only Russian icebreakers has the greatest experience of Arctic voyages. That’s why, recognizing high professionalism and qualification of the Russian sailors working in the icebreaking fleet, the US Government addressed to the Government of Russia an official request to render assistance in ship piloting to the Antarctic research stations.
An important meeting of Russian and American icebreakers on the edge of the ice fields is expected to have place between the 10th and 14th of January next year. On the 16th of January the 1st piloting of the tanker with tonnage of 19 thousand tons to McMerdo is planned. In further it is planned to pilot to the station of bulker with 10 thousand tons of cargo for polar explores. In the port of calling about thousand of polar explores are waiting for the icebreakers. Having in mind complicated situation in Antarctic, FESCO Director General Evgeniy Ambrosov noted: «Decision to send to Antarctic icebreaker „Krasin“ was adopted immediately. It will not be an exaggeration to say that no company in the world has such experience of icebreaking work including in Antarctic, as we have. We are proud of our icebreaker sailors. Recalling the legendary passage of the icebreaker „Vladivostok“, which under the command of Gennadiy Antokhin rescued research vessel „Mikhail Somov“ pressed be the ice in the Ross Sea. The icebreaker „Krasin“ is going to Antarctic under the command of Victor Kovalchuk who is an experienced polar captain, a student of Vadim A. Abonosimov. We are convinced that our icebreaker sailors will hold down their task.»
«Krasin» will return to the port Vladivostok in March 2005.