Vitus Jonassen Bering (1681-1741) was a distinguished navigator and explorer. A Dane by descent, he dedicated his life to the service of Russia and completed one of the great undertakings set out by Emperor Peter I – to create general charts; studying the geography of Russia and her neighbouring territories. On the direct order of Peter I, Bering led the Kamchatka Expeditions; whose aim was to study the peninsula’s coastline and search for a strait between Asia and North America before heading south down the North American coast on the first maritime research expedition in Russian history.
The Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, Bering Island, Bering Glacier and the Bering Land Bridge have since all been (posthumously) named in his honour.
The lead ship in the series of state-of-the-art icebreaking supply vessels was named after Vitus Bering. It will ensure uninterrupted operations on oil platforms in the Arkutun-Dagi field in the Sea of Okhotsk as part of the Sakhalin-I project.