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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

Photo by M. Denisov.

Read more about how the fleet will work before the opening of the next navigation season in the article.

Winter is not a hindrance to metropolitan transport. The metro, the Moscow Central Circle, railway transport and highways are ready to operate in any weather, and only one artery freezes with the onset of cold weather – both literally and figuratively. It’s about the Moscow River.

In November, in the area of ​​the Nagatinsky backwater, the GUP fleet is being prepared for winter “Mosvodostok”… After some of the ships go for repairs, and the other “falls asleep” on the shore, the navigation of special equipment will be closed almost until the end of spring.

About what happens to the ships in winter and who remains on duty on the frozen river, said the chief of the fleet of the State Unitary Enterprise “Mosvodostok” Vyacheslav Shutkin.

Close navigation

There is no bustle on the concrete pier, despite the scale of the work. A detachment of specialists receives and examines ships that are lifted from the water on chains by a large industrial crane. Most of the ships operate only for half a year, and from November to May the Mosvodostok river fleet is preparing for the next navigation season.


The ships raised on land are installed on special supports – this is where they will spend the winter. Specialists will be engaged in diagnostics and maintenance of vessels right on the spot. The main part of the fleet is in good condition, so no major hull work is planned. Some parts will be replaced in the courts, the internal units will be repaired and the propulsion and steering complex will be checked.

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Winter attendants

Of course, they will not leave the Moskva River unattended in winter. About 30 people will remain on the winter watch – about 30 percent of the main crew.

Also, five vessels will continue to work on the water until further notice, they will collect floating debris and eliminate oil stains.

So, the motor ship Setun goes to the fight against pollution, which quickly gets to the scene of the incident and sprays the hydraulic break. It is a special agent that converts oil into carbon dioxide and pure water. In two to three hours, no oil film remains on the surface of the water.

“We have two vessels on duty at two storage points. Here is the motor ship “Nord”, an icebreaking vessel, it will ensure order and safety of being on the water. At another storage point, in the Yauza area, there is another vessel – “NMS-3”. It will collect floating debris and oil spills on the Yauza, which almost does not freeze in winter, ”notes Vyacheslav Shutkin.

In summer – a pusher tug, in winter – an icebreaker, “Nord” will be one of the main river duty. There are eight people in his crew, and two always remain on duty.

The chief of the fleet emphasizes that it is “Nord” that comes to the rescue in emergency situations. A distinctive feature of the vessel is that it has a one centimeter thick reinforced hull.

“When an emergency happens on the river bank, for example a fire, we, at the request of the Main Directorate of the Russian Emergencies Ministry in Moscow, assist rescuers. They also have a special icebreaking vessel, but it can break ice only 5‒10 centimeters thick. Our icebreaker hits up to 25 centimeters. When a fire breaks out, we receive a call from the Emergencies Ministry (we have an agreement with him on this) and the ship is always ready, punching the way for the rescuers, ”explains Vyacheslav Shutkin.

Duties of the fleet

In summer, the Mosvodostok State Unitary Enterprise also cleans the river from floating debris, oil spills and sludge. This is done by 30 vessels: 17 manned and 13 non-self-propelled, such as barges.

Before the start of navigation in the spring, the entire November closing procedure takes place in reverse order and the repaired vessels are launched again.

According to Vyacheslav Shutkin, there are usually no serious accidents on the Moskva River. There were no major oil emissions in 2020, and all confirmed oil stains were eliminated by spraying sorbents.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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