Tags: walrus | russian boat | arctic expedition

Walrus Sinks Russian Boat on Arctic Expedition

a walrus is shown
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 September 2019 02:16 PM

Russian navy sailors were well aware of many dangers they would be facing when they recently set sail for an Arctic expedition.

What they did not expect was for a walrus to attack and sink their boat after getting too close to her calf, The Daily Mail reported.

The incident, reported on Sept. 18, occurred near the Franz Josef Land archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.  Members of the Russian Navy and the Geographical Society were sailing aboard the Altai tug vessel but using smaller rubber landing crafts to reach the shore. It was while using one of these boats that they reportedly got a little too close to the walrus and her baby.

"The boat sank, but the tragedy was avoided thanks to the clear actions of the squad leader," the Geographical Society said in a statement, adding that all members aboard the vessel managed to safely reach the shore.

Female walruses can weigh more than 2,500 pounds, which is about two times as heavy as a horse. While not aggressive by nature, walruses can grow aggressive when protecting their young, as the Russian sailors recently discovered.

Predators are not the only thing they have to face though. Freezing conditions and massive storms are among the other dangers that expedition participants could face as they embark upon a joint operation to retrace the path of arctic explorer Julius von Payer, who in 1873 helped discover the Franz Josef Land archipelago.

Adjustments to operations had to recently be made when lingering winds pushed slabs of ice to the shores of the archipelago.

"After the wind changed to the south, the ice edge moved north, but numerous icebergs appeared in the inner straits," the Geographical Society noted.

Despite the setbacks, scientists are doing their best to continue with the expedition. They have been studying the flora and fauna of the archipelago and continue to carry out tasks in the area of the island of Algera.

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Russian navy sailors were well aware of many dangers they would be facing when they recently set sail for an Arctic expedition.
walrus, russian boat, arctic expedition
324
2019-16-24
Tuesday, 24 September 2019 02:16 PM
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