Aid is on its way to icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn struggling near North Pole

Following the difficult voyage, the « Kapitan Dranitsyn » has consumed far more fuel than planned and now needs assistance to make it back to the Russian mainland.

According to the Alfred Wegner Institute, it is icebreaker “ Admiral Makarov ” that is to come to the assistance of the « Kapitan Dranitsyn ». The former will bring the extra fuel needed.

That icebreaker is not supposed to be able to get that far north under its own power at this time of the year.


I thought the Russians used nuclear powered ice breakers.

The Russians have four operational nuclear-powered icebreakers. The captain of the biggest one has a pretty nice blog where he posts photographs almost daily:


A good indication of why the US should only build nuclear icebreakers.

It will be beyond embarrassing when the Russians or Chinese have to rescue our new Halter built diesel electric icebreaker.

When it happens, I hope the government court marshals the top 100 USCG Admirals.


Nuclear power has its unquestionable advantages when operating in remote areas, but considering the difficulties of procuring even conventionally-powered icebreakers for the USCG, perhaps it’s better to stick to diesel at least with the upcoming generation of polar security cutters.


Tupsis is right. There’s no reason to make the best the enemy of good enough. Masters & Ice Pilots have been navigating through ice in diesel powered ships for decades without running out of fuel. Its easier to get masters, ice pilots & chief engineers who can calculate fuel consumption, correctly estimate ice thickness & evaluate satellite ice flow images than nuclear powered ice breakers.