On 27 December 2021, icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov of FSUE Rosmorport completed the pilotage of three vessels that delivered cargo for the Russian research station Vostok, in the Antarctic.
114 people that were onboard Kapitan Khlebnikov arrived at the station as well, during an expedition that is a part of the Strategy of development of activity of the Russian Federation in the Antarctic until 2030.
Three vessels in the expedition delivered a new wintering complex weighing almost 7 thousand tons for the Russian inland Antarctic station and the necessary fuel.
Kapitan Khlebnikov created an ice channel for unloading vessels at the ice berth and made sure that vessels approached it and made their way out to clear water.
However, the work was complicated by ice conditions that were above the icebreaker’s design capabilities, the proximity of icebergs, variable weather conditions, and the technical capabilities of the vessels being assisted.
As more ice cover melting is expected in the future, new sea routes will open for ships, changing the international trade and shipping picture.
Currently, to navigate ice sea routes, many vessels depend on icebreakers, which clear a path for the vessels to sail through.