By the words of captain of icebreaker «Magadan» Roman Mogilyan, «the entrance for ships to Gulf of Korf was blocked by the line of heavy ice, brought from the northern part of the Bering sea. Pressed by south-eastern winds the ice block became a serious obstacle for ships».
Ice exploring, conducted by FESCO icebreaker, showed, that ice was very heavy — on some parts it was difficult for the icebreaker to move. The work of icebreakers was complicated by absence of visibility — by the words of crew, from the captain’s bridge of «Magadan» even the front part of deck was not seen.
MES helicopter rendered sufficient help to ships. From the helicopter, having risen above lower fog, which was above water and ice, it was well seen ice-hummock. Thanks to it a narrow passage in massive ice bridge was found and ships successfully overcame zone of heavy ice and reached pure water.
The tug-boat and barge were first to course for shore. Operation on fuel unloading from the barge began in the morning on the 23rd of March. The tanker got at anchor waiting for return of unloaded barge. After return of barge fuel from the tanker will be transmited on the barge. The barge will deliver this fuel to the shore.
This year the Program of Northern delivery to Koryaksky autonomous okrug was ruined, and the necessary quantity of fuel was not delivered. As a result a number of towns and settlements of okrug was without fuel. Okrug residents have to use wooden buildings to heat their houses. Temperature in houses doesn’t exceed 10 degrees. Schools, kindergartens, hospitals were closed. Before coming of ships, in order to save settlements from winterkill, helicopters of Ministry of emergency situations had to deliver diesel oil. Besides fuel delivery was provided by overland transport. All these allowed to give electricity only for some hours a day. In 9 villages regime of emergency situation was put in.
By the words of FESCO Director General E. Ambrosov, «Magadan» went in the head of convoy, going to help residents of Koryaksky okrug in the shortest possible time. FESCO management is sure that captain and crew will successfully complete the set task. FESCO icebreaker crews not once proved their high professionalism. It is enough to recall a legendary passage of icebreaker «Vladivostok» under the command of captain Gennadiy Antokhin in 1985, when they rescued in the Ross Sea ship «Mikhail Somov», and also recent successful operation of icebreaker «Krasin» under the command of captain Victor Kovalchuk, having accomplished operation on rendering help to polar explorers of American Antarctic station «McMurdo» and got the highest appreciation of Russian and American specialists.
FESCO history has many pages connected with icebreaker participation in other rescue operations. For the last 50 years FESCO icebreakers accomplished about 20 such operations, which were held in difficult conditions. They demanded high risk and definite actions.