The Ukrainian ship is to operate the Polish Antarctic station. Poland has requested the operator of the newly-acquired Ukrainian vessel Noosfera to service the Polish Antarctic station instead of a Russian vessel.
NASC Director Ewgien Dikij spoke about this on Ukrainian television on Thursday, March 3, the national news agency Ukrinform reported.
– The Polish Antarctic station was recently operated by a chartered Russian ship. Today the Poles contacted us and asked if our new ship could also operate the Polish station, moreover, for money, which in our current situation is very significant. Of course, we agreed – Dikij said. – All technical details are currently being clarified.
The icebreaker Noosfera (IMO No. 8904496; ex James Clark Ross) set sail on her first voyage from Odessa to the Akademik Vernadsky Antarctic Station on January 28, Ukrinform reported. Six Ukrainian Antarctic scientists are on board, and another 28 researchers will join them in the Chilean port of Punta Arenas.
The Noosfera is a former British research and logistics vessel and an icebreaker, operated by the government agency British Antarctic Survey under the name of RRS James Clark Ross. Ukraine purchased the ship on August 19 2021. The vessel made her first call in Odessa on October 5 2021.
The ship hoisted the Ukrainian flag on August 20 2021, and was named Noosfera on October 29 2021, at a ceremony attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The ship’s owner and operator is the National Antarctic Scientific Centre (Національний Антарктичний Науковий Центр), based in Kyiv. The technical management of the unit is handled by the Estonian company Pech OU.
The vessel with FS Ice Class 1A Super is not young – she has been sailing for 30 years, but is richly equipped and can still be considered modern. She has been modernised both as a platform and in ship internal systems (she received, for example, a class notation corresponding to the “green passport”), but also in terms of operational (scientific and research) equipment.
Built in 1991 at the UK’s Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend, the ship is 99.04m long, 18.89m wide, has a draught of 6.50m, depth moulded of 9.80m, a gross tonnage of 5732 and a deadweight of 2917t.
The Noosfera has the cranage, holds, and lockers to fulfil logistical and supply functions. In addition, she offers space for the fourteen 20 TEU containers, cold storage facilities with a capacity of 362 cubic metres, seating for 77 crew and research teams.
The ship is equipped with specialised laboratories and scientific research equipment, enabling multi-disciplinary research of the sea and seabed up to a depth of 8 km, which means full access for scientists from the ship to almost 90 per cent of the world’s ocean bottom.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine and launched a large-scale invasion. Russian troops are killing civilians, shelling and destroying key infrastructure, and hitting Ukrainian homes.
Martial law has been imposed in Ukraine, and a general mobilisation has been announced. With the support of the entire nation, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are courageously resisting aggression.
Ukraine has officially sent a lawsuit against the Russian Federation to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan has opened an investigation into the situation in Ukraine.
Images: British Antarctic Survey; Національний Антарктичний Науковий Центр