- Icebreaker Vaygach
Icebreaker "Vaygach" was an icebreaking steamer of moderate size built for the
Russian Imperial Navyat St. Petersburgin 1908. It was named after Vaygach Islandin the Russian Arctic.
Icebraker "Vaygach" and her sister ship "Taymyr" were built for the purpose of thoroughly exploring the uncharted areas of the
Northern Sea Route. This venture became known as the Arctic Ocean Hydrographic Expedition.
The first of a series of surveys began in the autumn of 1909, when the "Vaygach" and the "Taymyr" left
Vladivostok. They entered the Chukchi Seawith scientists on board and began their exploration. For the next five years, these icebreakers went on sounding and carrying on vital surveys during the thaw. Before every winter, when ice conditions became too bad, they returned to Vladivostok and waited for the spring.In 1911 the scientists and crew aboard the "Vaygach" and the "Taymyr" made the first Russian landing on Wrangel Island.
In 1913, led by Colonel I. Sergeev, the "Vaygach" sailed together with the "Taymyr", whose Captain was
Boris Vilkitsky. Togethere, they tried to force the whole Northern Passage in order to reach Archangelsk. Severe weather and ice conditions, however, didn't allow them to cross the Kara Seaand they were forced to winter at Bukhta Dika, close to the Firnley Islands. Thus they were able to complete the passage only in 1914.
Some of the biggest successes of the expedition were the accurate charting of the Northern Sea Route and the discovery of
Severnaya Zemlyain 1912. Icebreakers "Taymyr" and "Vaygach" were considered the best icebreakers in the world in their time.
"Vaigach" struck an underwater rock and sank in 1917 in the Yenisei Bay of the
Kara Sea. [ Great Soviet Encyclopedia, [http://slovari.yandex.ru/dict/bse/article/00011/54800.htm entry on "Вайгач"] ] A nuclear river-icebreaker of the Soviet Navy, was named "Vaygach" in 1988.
William Barr, "Otto Sverdrup to the Rescue of the Russian Imperial Navy".
* J. Niven, "The Ice Master, The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk".
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