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16th July, 1933 started Arctic expedition led by Otto Schmidt

Otto Schmidt On the 16th of July, 1933 started an expedition led by eminent Arctic explorer Otto Schmidt and polar Captain Vladimir Voronin. They sailed off on the ship icebreaker "Chelyuskin" from Leningrad to Murmansk where took on board 112 people and went to Vladivostok. The main purpose of the expedition was to develop the route of delivery of cargoes along the Northern Sea Route in the summer navigation period. Geographic map shows that the Northern Maritime Corridor is the shortest sea passage between the Far East and the European part of Russia.

"Chelyuskin" was for its time, the most technically advanced and progressive cargo-ship with displacement of 7,500 tons. But it was not an icebreaker. It was planned that the most dangerous sections of the road "Chelyuskin" will accompanied by icebreakers.

When the boat came out of Matochkin Strait in the Kara Sea, he met the first ice floes. With the help of icebreakers they managed to get solid ice and continue the path. Next "Chelyuskin" went to the independent swimming. In September on the Chukchi Sea, the ship was trapped in solid ice. Over the next five months, the ship drifted and turned out in the the Bering Strait. But then the ship began to refer back to the north-west direction.

On the 13th of February, 1934 the ship was crushed by the ice and went under water. The crew evacuated the surrounding ice. Also members of the expedition had been lowered onto the ice from the sinking "Chelyuskina" boards and bricks that were used for the construction of barracks.

A few days after the disaster in Moscow was collected commission headed by Valerian Kuibyshev. Evacuation of the expedition carried out by means of aviation. More than 100 people who have spent in extreme conditions two months, were rescued. Otto Schmidt himself was seriously ill and was immediately sent to hospital.

On a topographic map can be found the Cape coast of Chukotka peninsula in the northern part of Novaya Zemlya, ice plain in Antarctica, the island in the Kara Sea, which are named in honor of Otto Schmidt.

This Day in History 16-07-2014