A feat frozen in stone: a memorial sign is installed at the site of the death of NIS Perseus
03 July 2023

A feat frozen in stone: a memorial sign is installed at the site of the death of NIS Perseus

On June 22, the Day of Remembrance and Mourning, a commemorative sign dedicated to the heroic fate and tragic death of the Perseus research vessel (NIS) was inaugurated on the coast of the Motovsky Bay.
The event, designed to perpetuate the memory of the "grandfather" of the scientific fleet, was attended by the leadership of the All-Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, scientists of the Polar Branch of VNIRO, representatives of the Russian Geographical Society and the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy.
The contribution of the author of the idea and one of its key implementers - the deputy head of the Polar Branch of VNIRO Konstantin Sokolov deserves special recognition.
VNIRO expresses its gratitude to the leadership of the Russian Geographical Society for their help in finding the remains of the Perseus Research Vessel and to the command of the Northern Sea Fleet for their active assistance in organizing the event.
NIS Perseus has become a symbol of an epoch in the history of Arctic exploration and the "progenitor" of the scientific research fleet of fisheries science.
For 18 years of service, the vessel has made about one hundred research voyages to the White, Barents, Kara and Greenland Seas. The expeditions have become a school for more than 700 scientists. The obtained data laid the foundation of scientific knowledge about the peculiarities of Arctic ecosystems and opened up new opportunities for the industrial development of valuable types of aquatic biological resources.
After the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, Perseus, like thousands of other civilian vessels, was mobilized to fulfill the tasks of the Northern Fleet. The vessel was intended for the evacuation of wounded Red Army soldiers and civilians, as well as the delivery of medicines, food and fuel to the Rybachy Peninsula.
During its first and, as it turned out, the last flight of the NIS Perseus, which delivered a cargo of fuel to the defenders of Rybachy, was attacked by Nazi aircraft.
In this battle, the Perseus was severely damaged, but the crew managed to bring the ship to shallow water and throw it ashore. Subsequently, the half-sunken hull of the vessel was used as a base for a berth, continuing to serve the defenders of the Soviet Arctic.
The feat of the Perseus team became one of the many vivid manifestations of true heroism, thanks to which the invaders failed to capture the Rybachy Peninsula and disrupt the access of convoys of allies in the anti-Hitler coalition to Murmansk.
VNIRO management was represented at the solemn event by Deputy Director Pavel Bagimov.
The Perseus did not manage to become part of the Northern Fleet, but it fulfilled its task with honor, participating in the provision of our soldiers, and remained forever in the bay of Ein. He died as a soldier, and in this way we want to honor the memory of the people who died defending our homeland from fascism," he stressed at the opening ceremony of the memorial sign.
The connection of times was restored when in April of this year, the members of the Northern Fleet expedition "Remember the War" with the grant support of the Russian Geographical Society, during diving operations, discovered the remains of the legendary vessel at the place of its death - at the bottom of the Ein Bay of Motovsky Bay.
This year, fisheries science celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first expedition to the Perseus Research Institute.
The idea to perpetuate the memory of the labor and military feat of the first ship of science was reflected in the popular science publication "About Perseus and the Persians". The book by VNIRO publishing house, which will be of interest to a wide range of readers, is based on unique archival data on the history of the creation of the legendary vessel and the development of expeditionary research in the North of Russia in the 20s of the last century.
The history of Perseus has also become an excellent topic for a wide range of scientific and educational events that took place in all VNIRO branches from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka during 2022-2023.
Alexander Shepkanov, the head of the Perseus Historical and Maritime Club, a member of the Russian Geographical Society, is doing a lot to popularize this wonderful chapter of the history of fisheries science among young people. It was he who gave VNIRO a piece of Perseus, found in the expedition of 1974 at the site of the shipwreck, and also contributed to strengthening cooperation with VNIRO in the field of vocational navigation of schoolchildren.
Fascinating open lessons, lectures fanned by the sea romance, colorful presentations and exciting excursions conducted by VNIRO scientists allowed schoolchildren and students from all regions of Russia to learn a lot about the history of their native country, as well as to think about devoting themselves to science.
The memorial sign, which now adorns the coast of the Barents Sea, will preserve for future generations the memory of the great feat of Soviet scientists and will serve as a symbol of selfless devotion to science and selfless service to the Fatherland.Подписывайтесь на аккаунты ВНИРО в Telegram и Вконтакте
Press Service VNIRO