Sunday, January 06, 2008

Russians Saved After Three Months

This is a wonderful story. I love the fact that despite eleven fishermen being lost (count them), no-one, apparently, made much of an effort to rescue them. The crew repaid this devotion by avoiding all contact with the outside world for three months - until their food ran out.
The fact is they were about 60 miles from the regional capital - and there were other settlements between them and the city.

Perhaps the best bit of this fishy tale, however, is the fact that the group were able to not only stumble upon a disused (and presumably unguarded) military base but that they were also able to sample the Russian army rations for some time. The Kamchatka Peninsula was a heavily militarized zone during the Cold War, housing among other treasures the entire Pacific nuclear submarine fleet. Today its former docks, on the other side of the bay from the regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, contains rusting ships and subs in varying degrees of disintegration. In fact, in 2000 a group of opportunist sailors actually raided the base and stole a quantity of radioactive material before being apprehended. Sounds like a good opening scene for a future series of 24 to me.

Beyond the rusting military hardware, the Kamchatka Peninsula is a beautiful and remote wilderness, famous for its numerous volcanoes (several being active) as well as its geysers and other geological wonders. The national park on the peninsula is a United Nations designated world heritage site. All of which I'm sure was small comfort to the missing fishermen who endured an extended camping holiday.

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