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Home* News and Stories → Russian ship wrecked at Bjørnøya

Russian ship wrecked at Bjørnøya

The Russian freezing ship Petrozavodsk ran aground near the southern tip of Bear Island (Bjørnøya) on Monday, 11 May. The seas within one nautical mile from the shore are protected and may not be entered with vessels longer than 40 feet, as the cliffs are home to some of the largest seabird colonies of the north Atlantic; the numbers of breeding Brünich’s and Common guillemots amount to several hundred thousands and the breeding season is just about to begin. The Petrozavodsk is lying on a reef just under the cliffs, which frequently produce rockfalls, making removal of the wreck dangerous, if not impossible. The vessel, which was operating in the Barents sea together with Russian fishing ships, is damaged and seems to be loosing fuel, probably heavy oil, of which there seem to be about 53 tons on board.

Captain and first officer have been interviewed in Longyearbyen by the Sysselmannen and will be on trial in Norway. Both had alcohol in their blood upon arrival in Longyearbyen soon after the accident. The first mate was on watch at the time of the grounding, he was probably sleeping (really!).

Hard to believe, isn’t it?
The wreck of the Petrozavodsk just under the cliffs of Bjørnøya. Image © Kystverket

Russian ship wrecked at Bjørnøya

Source: Kystverket, Sysselmannen, Svalbardposten

last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange