November 2, 2020
Russia has begun to verify the number of sunken vessels in order to clear ports and inland waterways, industry representatives told RG.RU. According to their estimates, more than a thousand sunken vessels are awaiting recovery.
21 sunken ships have been identified in Magadan seaport alone. Reconciliation of information on the number and location of sunken ships was ordered by “Rosmorrechflot” federal agency and carried out by the Harbor Master’s Service together with the regional Ministry of Natural Resources. They found out how many ships are resting at the bottom in Nagaeva Bay. According to the head of “Rosmorrechflot” Alexander Poshivay, the depths of the bay make it possible to approach the sunken ships in order to raise them. The Marine Rescue Service has all the resources to tackle this issue.
The Ministry of Transport as a whole is preparing changes in legislation to solve the problem of sunken ships. “A bill is being developed to amend the Code of Merchant Shipping and the Inland Waterway Transport Code. It will regulate the disposal of property sunk in sea areas and on inland waterways,” the department explained to RG.RU.
In August 2020, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin visited Magadan and, after finding a “ship graveyard” in the port ordered it to be liquidated. Interested departments and regions should evaluate the issue of lifting wrecks throughout the country.
In the Far Eastern Federal District alone, 600 sunken objects have been identified in the coastal zone, a source in the industry said. Reconciliation of sunken ships should be carried out in all regions. According to the data two years ago, 837 sunken objects were recorded on inland waterways, and at least 144 sunken ships within the seaports and approaches to them, experts say. Ship wreckage in the ports and waterways represents a serious ecological and navigational threat. Its clearance is a complicated and often costly affair, but it has to be done.
The situation with underwater metal wreckage in the Eastern sector of Russian Arctic is even worse. Besides the presence of sunken vessels and small boats, there also is an unaccountable number of cars, tractors, other heavy equipment and barrels lost in the process of uploading cargo to the shore.