The ice breaker Kapitan Dranitsyn and two bulk carriers, Sinegorsk and Iogann Makhmasta, are being forced to stay for the winter Chukotka anchorage outside the port of Pevek, according to Russian news site PortNews.
The port which is on the North Sea Route that connects Europe to Asia during in the summer months, normally closes in November for the winter, however, it had remained open for the supply of materials for building the floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov.
A convoy comprising ice breakers Kapitan Dranitsyn and the two bulkers arrived in Pevek on 7 January and left the port on 13 January but faced a barrier of heavy ice at the exit from the Chaunskaya Guba bay.
FSUE Rosmorport said the two ice breakers could have broken through the four – five mile ice barrier there was risk of damage to the two Arc 5 ice class bulkers.
“It is not an emergency situation. Winter anchorage is a positive practice to prevent incidents associated with severe ice conditions,” a statement from FSUE Rosmorport said.
The vessels are set for a lengthy stay with the summer navigation period not expected to start until late May – early June.