Arctic shuttle tanker is named after a legendary captain


A naming ceremony for Russia’s Arctic shuttle tanker of 70,000 dwt ordered by the Sovcomflot group of companies took place on 9 May 2008. This is the second ship in a series of three tankers of enhanced ice class designed for the transportation of oil from the Varandey oil field in the Arctic Region by sea (operated by Naryanmarneftegaz – a Joint Venture of Lukoil and ConocoPhillips). The ship was named after Mikhail Vladimirovich Gotsky – a legendary ice captain, a talented scientist and the Great Patriotic War participant. She will be put into operation in the third decade of May 2008.

Kapitan Gotsky, as all the tankers of the series, will be registered at the Russian International Register of Shipping, the port of registry being St.Petersburg, and will be flying the State flag of the Russian Federation.

The solemn ceremony held at the Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (Republic of Korea) was attended by Mr.Willie Chiang, Senior Vice President, Commercial, ConocoPhillips; Mrs. Linda Chiang , the Godmother of the ship; Mr.Will Schmidt, Deputy Director, Naryanmarneftegaz; Mr. Christian Heins, Vice President, HSH Bank; Mr.Nikolay Kolesnikov, Executive Vice President, Sovcomflot and Mr.Sergey Popravko, Managing Director, Unicom Management Services (Cyprus) Ltd.

Seafarers from the Far-East, the followers and team-mates of captain Gotsky – captains Vadim Holodenko and Vadim Abonosimov – took part in the ceremony. The veterans of merchant navy handed over articles from Gotsky’s archive, passed to Sovcomflot by the daughter of the legendary captain, to the ship’s master.


The tanker Kapitan Gotsky built in accordance with the requirements of the Russian Registry of Shipping and American Bureau of Shipping, has the following specifications :

Length Overall – 257.0m
Breadth Moulded – 34.0m
Draft Moulded – 14.0m
Service Speed (open water) – 16.0 knots.

Unique technical decisions, which allow the ship to operate effectively in the Arctic seas in winter ice conditions, were applied in designing the Arctic shuttle tankers. The ships have an ice-enhanced hull structure, designed in accordance with LU6 (1A Super) ice-class, under the classification of the Russian Register of Shipping. The tankers are equipped with two Azipod propulsion units, with a total power output equivalent to 20mW. The ships all have a dynamic positioning system for use in ice and a helicopter pad. In general these technologies provide the ship with a high ice-breaking capacity whether moving forward or aft, cutting down on the time spent maneuvering through ice and improving the vessel’s safety.

The new ship meets all the current international requirements on the safety of navigation and marine environment protection.

Sovcomflot Group is one of Russia’s largest infrastructural enterprises. Its fleet is within the five biggest shipping companies in the world. The fleet comprises 124 vessels with a total deadweight of 8.7 million tonnes. The Group has a new-building order book of 31 vessels with an aggregate deadweight (dwt) of 2.8m tonnes. The average age of the tanker fleet is about six years (the world average age is 12 years). The Sovcomflot Group is the global leader in product carriers and the Aframax segment as well as ice-classed LNG tankers and Arctic shuttle tankers. These market segments are the most in demand for Russia’s foreign trade. The Arctic tankers of similar class – Kirill Lavrov and Mikhail Ulyanov, designed to transport oil from another Russian oil field – Prirazlomnoye (operated by Sevmorneftegaz, a subsidiary of Gazprom) – were also ordered by the Sovcomflot Group at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg – Russia’s oldest yard.

Mikhail Vladimirovich Gotsky (1907-1962) – a legendary ship’s captain, the Doctor of Geographical Sciences, who participated in the Second World War. He started as an able seaman and grew up to the sea captain. From 1934 Gotsky participated in ice convoys along the Northern Sea Route. In 1961 the diesel ice-breaker Moskva under the command of Gotsky, made a voyage from Murmansk to the Bering Strait, and then to Vladivostok in 10 days. From 1943 Mikhail Gotsky participated in military naval operations. He was in the command of navy convoys. His later years were devoted to the Far-Eastern Shipping Company. A talented navigator and scientist, Gotsky summarised practical knowledge in ice shipping, accumulated by Soviet navigators and by himself in a fundamental work – “Ice Navigation Practice”, for which he was granted the doctorate in geography. The Government highly appreciated Gotsky’s services. He was awarded the Order of Great Patriotic War, Grade I, the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, Medal of Honour, by medals for Victory in the War and for Valorous Labour.