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Walrus Attack Sinks Russian Northern Fleet Boat in Arctic Waters

The walruses probably feared for their cubs, researchers said.


Participants of a Russian Northern Fleet and Russian Geographical Society expedition have all managed to get to shore following a walrus attack that sank their landing boat at Cape Heller, Franz Josef Land.

The walruses probably feared for their cubs and attacked the rubber landing craft.

"The boat sank, but a tragedy was avoided thanks to the prompt action taken by the squad leader. All landing participants safely reached the shore," the Geographical Society said in a statement.

Defense Ministry

Sailing the remote archipelago of Franz Josef Land in the Russian Arctic, the participants used the Navy’s tug vessel Altai, but had to use smaller landing craft to get ashore.

The Northern Fleet reported about the same expedition, but only briefly mentions that during the landing at Cape Heller, a group of researchers had to flee from a female walrus that attacked an expedition boat while protecting her cub.

The Navy’s text says nothing about the fact that the boat sank, only noting that "serious troubles were avoided thanks to the clear and well-coordinated actions of the Northern Fleet servicemen, who were able to take the boat away from the animals without harming them."

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