Bulgarian research vessel sails for Antarctica on scientific mission

Bulgaria’s first research vessel, the Sv Sv Kiril I Metodii RSV, set sail from Bulgaria’s Black Sea Port of Varna on December 27, bound for Antarctica.

Formerly Russian-owned, the vessel was overhauled at a cost of 4.5 million leva and commissioned into the Bulgarian Navy in July 2021. The ship is jointly owned by the Naval Academy, Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski and the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute.

The ship’s complement is made up of 50 scientists and crew, on a voyage that will take them via the Mediterranean to Gibraltar, the Atlantic Ocean, to Tierra del Fuego and on to Livingston Island, arriving in mid-February 2023. Among those aboard are three cadets from the Naval Academy in Varna and a doctor from Bulgaria’s Military Medical Academy.

A large crowd gathered to watch the ship embark, for what is the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition.

The scientists, headed by Professor Hristo Pimpirev, will work on projects from the national polar science programme.

These include bottom sediment sampling around Livingston Island in the South Shetlands to check for pollution, and examination of flora and fauna in the sediments.

(Photo via BNT)

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