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Coast Guard Checks on Russian Research Camp North of Barrow

September 25, 2011|By Tim Akimoff | Channel 2 News
  • Russian icebreaker Rossiya 400 miles from the North Pole
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A U.S. Coast Guard crew from Kodiak flew their HC-130 Hercules 850 miles north of Barrow yesterday, to check on the crew of a Russian research ice camp and the Russian icebreaker Rossiya.

The Rossiya and the ice camp are located 400 miles from the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean.

The Coast Guard says the trip was to check on the status of the camp and crew and to make sure they were not in distress because of the ice breaking up.

"There ice was definitely more solid this year than last year," Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally said of the flyover.

The Russian ice camp is near the same spot as last year when the Coast Guard also flew over to check on them.

The 11.5-hour flight offered Coast Guard crews the chance to familiarize themselves with parts of the arctic ocean they don't see that often.

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The flight was part of the Arctic Domain Awareness program, a project to better understand terrain and conditions in the arctic as longer stretches with less sea ice allow for more commercial activities like shipping and even pleasure boating in arctic waters.

Contact Tim Akimoff: takimoff@ktuu.com

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