New expedition to investigate missing St. Anna schooner’s route
In April 2016, members of the expedition "Following the Trail of Two Captains" are planning to install satellite radio beacons at a location where the schooner St. Anna that went missing in the Arctic almost 100 years ago was last sighted. Satellite radio beacons will make it possible to trace the schooner's subsequent route, project manager Oleg Prodan said at a news conference on the upcoming expedition.
A similar project with the use of radio beacons was implemented in 2013, and the new data will help confirm or refute the schooner's supposed route.
"If there is any similarity with 2013, then this would hardly be a coincidence, and we would therefore have to prepare a large-scale expedition to study the northern islands of Franz Josef Land," Prodan noted.
Scientists will reach the schooner's last known location aboard light helicopters, and the expedition is to set out on April 18.
In 1912, a polar expedition headed by Georgy Brusilov sailed out from St. Petersburg aboard the St. Anna in order to transit the Northern Sea Route for the first time. The ship eventually froze among ice-floes and started drifting helplessly. After quarreling with the captain, navigator Veniamin Albanov abandoned the ship together with 11 more crewmen in April 1914. The expedition of Georgy Sedov later managed to rescue the only survivors of those who abandoned ship, Albanov and a sailor named Alexander Konrad. Thirteen other expedition members who remained aboard the St. Anna disappeared without a trace after April 1914.
In 2010, members of the expedition "Following the Trail of Two Captains" found the remains of the schooner's crew members under Brusilov's command and their personal effects.