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The Industrial Apocalypse of Avachinskaya Bay

In Kamchatka, sur-surfers have chosen a cemetery of ships

Never abandoned ships at the pier of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky have not been the object of such close attention as this season. But the attention is not the departments that are obliged to keep this issue under control, but the tourist organizations and their desperate clients. 

The Industrial Apocalypse of Avachinskaya Bay
Photo: Alexey and Evgenia Lonshakov


Parking of Forgotten Ships

This year to the abandoned ships began to drive all comers on special inflatable boards with a paddle - sapah. Surfing on saps is a popular sport all over the world. In Kamchatka, it appeared only a couple of years ago.

Kite Ride - one of the organizations that offers several sightseeing tours on these boards on the picturesque places of the peninsula. Along with such routes as rafting along the Paratunka River and riding on the waves of the Pacific Ocean, tourists and residents of the city are offered to take a look at one of the local attractions from the water. "Parking of Forgotten Ships" - this is the name of this program. Tour organizer Alexei Lonshakov admits that this place turned out to be a real find. In the summer season, almost every day a group of tourists gathered steadily to meet with the iron port residents of the ZhBF.

"We liked this place because the space is closed from the wind, you can ride almost any weather, and it is in the city. For an evening excursion - an ideal option. In addition, Kamchatka is not only picturesque landscapes. All this is also Kamchatka. Here is an indescribable atmosphere of such a tough industrial, "- says my interlocutor.

Evening tour lasts an average of 2,5-3 hours. The organizers of the tours did not expect that such objects would be so interesting not only to visitors, but also to the citizens themselves. Surprisingly, it is necessary to change only the point of observation from shore to water, how terrible and unattainable suddenly becomes so close and beautiful.

"Actually, it's not so easy to find really interesting places for excursions on a weekday. And when we started to study this place more deeply, we were amazed at how great it is here. These huge repair docks, abandoned ships, and immediately the seals are floating, and the view of the hills is just gorgeous, "says Alexey.

His emotions from the first visit to the parking lot of the forgotten ships were shared by Alexey Lonshakov's wife Eugenia, who together with him developed a new excursion. "The first impression is" wow! ". You can touch these Machinas by hand. Feels their power and strength. It was interesting to study them. We climbed onto the ships, wandered inside. Here there are not only old ships, but also new Japanese ones, and they are completely different. By the way, when conditions permit, we conduct a route between ships. This is a great delight for people. These twenty meters between them you swim in one breath. The spirit captures! "- says Eugene.


This is also Kamchatka

I wore a wetsuit (and always a life jacket), climbed onto the sap, and as part of the group I went to get acquainted with the iron giants. The evening was quite warm and windless. In our group there was a noisy and cheerful company of girls and two couples. After a simple briefing, we took turns in the water. From the starting place the group began to sail to the right. Getting used to the water, we slowly got to the abandoned ship repair dock. They took it even more to the right and found themselves at the first parking lot. In the light of the sunset, these ships look fresh. Most likely, there are steamships, which their owners are trying to patch on their own. And perhaps some of them have recently been confiscated.

From the shore we are greeted with loud bark by local dogs. The girls gather in pairs and photograph each other against the backdrop of the ships. Do not be afraid to take with them for a walk "mobile phones". I was afraid. Alexey warned that almost at every excursion someone is drowning the phone, replenishing an already rich local "flora" and "fauna".

We return back and cross the bay. Here it is necessary to row more actively: we go against the wind. There is a splash of water behind him and a sudden scream - someone fell from his sap. Even in a hydro-suit you can fully feel that the water is not warming up. Alexei, getting to the victim, jokes: "Get out soon, or seal the seal". I try to be more careful not to replenish the current statistics of swimmers. In the middle of the bay I gently look back. Now the small and dark figures of the ships contrast with the background of the natural landscape. Green hills neatly covered with a duvet from the fog. The sun gently falls to the horizon and colors the sky in pink. Then I suddenly lose my balance, but I manage to stay on my feet. There was a wave from the cutter of the Coast Guard, who was scurrying back and forth across the bay.

We approach another repair document. We are photographed against its background. While the instructor asks us to freeze for a photo, another member of our group flops into the water. Climbing on the board, the girl laughs, her good friends support her with a kind laugh. We smile. This general photo turned out to be more alive than all the previous ones.

We move on. We sail past the ships of the Coast Guard. They are looked at us with interest by employees in uniform, smiling, they want a good walk. Now wrap it to the right. I'm looking out for the "veterans" of this parking lot - especially the old ones, which have already become stars in social networks, but I do not find them. Alex sees my confusion. "They're a little further, now we'll get to it," he reassures.

With each meter of the court, they are more likely to roll on their side, they are more strongly eaten by rust. By this time, twilight had already descended, further overshadowing the atmosphere of the industrial "apocalypse". Finally, we reach the place. Red boulders almost completely protrude out of the water, one ship lies on its side. They will not tell their story any more, their names and any identifying signs have eaten time. They can not pass between them - the tide. Alexei Lonshakov with some chagrin tells that just a week ago there was a big beautiful ship, also old. Now it was sawn and pulled.

Both Kamchatka and tourists differently perceive this picture: someone admires, someone upsets someone, but nobody remains indifferent. Yes, this is also Kamchatka - that side of which it was not customary to tell and even more so to show. They were ashamed.


Save Kamchatka from iron junk

So far, in addition to curious tourists, these desolate hulks no longer disturb anyone. According to reports, there are about 70 submerged (flooded) ships, ships, other boats and their fragments, 30 arrested fishing vessels, as well as vessels that have worked their life and decommissioned, which are in the custody of commercial organizations, in Avacha Bay. By the way, vessels of the latter category are potential targets for replenishment of the list of "inundants". In addition, experts found about 28 places of concentration of scrap metal.

According to preliminary estimates, in Avacha Bay there may be about 250 thousand tons of scrap metal, including in the waters of ZATO Vilyuchinsk. Since no one conducted a targeted and complete survey of Avachinskaya Bay, these figures may be just the tip of the iceberg.

The largest congestion of submerged ships is located in Yuzhnaya, Krasheninnikov, Seldevaya bays and in the area of ​​Cape Sannikova. On wrecks there may be a residue of unworked fuel (dead stock). Oil products can be in the main and auxiliary engines of ships, in cargo mechanical devices and in fuel lines. In addition, the hulls of ships are covered with anti-fouling paints, which include mercury, lead, antimony and other components. It is not hard to guess that all these components create a considerable threat of pollution of the water area and environmental damage.

Here it is worth remembering that Avachinskaya Bay is an object of federal environmental supervision and is considered a fishery water reservoir of the highest and first categories. And in the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky there is a seasonal breeding of Steller sea lions - the Red Book mammals.

In addition to environmental damage, abandoned ships and scrap deposits affect the safety of navigation, especially in the anchorage and maneuvering areas of ships, as well as at berths.


Rusty "citizens" of the Avacha Bay

The problem of forgotten ships remains unresolved for many years. The lion's share of the rusty inhabitants of the Avachinskaya Bay is the confiscated for illegal fishing of the court. Another part - steamships, just abandoned by their owners because of inept management and, as a result, bankruptcy.

With regard to abandoned ships, the management of Rosprirodnadzor in the Kamchatka Krai, together with the Kamchatka Transport Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Krai was looking for their owners. In 2011, the case seemed to have moved from a dead center. Almost all owners of flooded vessels were installed. Separate owners were given instructions on the rise of steamers. In the same year, the courts of the Kamchatka Territory satisfied the first statements of the environmental prosecutor's office on the rise of 18 flooded vessels, in 2010-2014 years - the prosecutor's office's applications for the lifting of 7 vessels were satisfied. In 2014, according to the claims of the environmental prosecutor's office, the founders were ordered to raise "flooders" from the bottom of the 40.

However, the bailiffs did not track how these prescriptions were being implemented. In addition, the fines that apply to the owners in this administrative violation can be called ridiculous: from 3 to 10 thousand rubles - for IP and from 30 to 100 - for legal entities. Whether it is possible to consider such measures effective is a big question.

Another category of rusty “citizens” of the Avacha Bay is confiscated vessels, which for many years are at the disposal of the Federal Property Management Agency. Such a vessel has only one legal scenario of the future life: its sale at auction with the transfer of revenue to the federal budget. If the auction did not take place, the vessel must be destroyed. It sounds, in principle, quite logical. But in fact, confiscated ordered to rotate endlessly in the circles of hell. First, the state pays for five years the parking of such a schooner, and when it is finally included in the privatization plan, rented or sold, returning slavery to slavery. And then again delayed. Some vessels pending to bid rust and sink, and the federal budget at the same time bears hundreds of millions of expenses related to their maintenance and "maintenance". The Ministry of Environment believes that simplifying the procedures for the sale of confiscated vessels would help to solve this problem.

Without attracting funding from the federal center to cope independently with the problem of abandoned ships, the Kamchatka Krai can not. Although attempts to get rid of disliked villains were and even bear fruit. Over 2011-2015 years from the water area of ​​the Avachinskaya Bay, more than 40 ships (boats and their fragments) were scrapped and scrapped, and this is about 25 thousand tons. This involved different enterprises: Sangar LLC, Palanska Industrial and Transport Company LLC, Troops and Forces grouping in the North-East of Russia, Clean City LLC and others.

How to effectively eliminate the accumulated environmental damage, repeatedly discussed at all sorts of meetings. In 2013, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Territory prepared a program for cleaning the water area of ​​the Avacha Bay. At the first stage, the amount of federal funding was 50 million rubles. In December 2015 and January, 2016 announced a tender for the implementation of works on this project. However, no application for him was filed and was not. This amount is not enough to perform such a huge amount of work. Shipbuilding, even with the use of the latest technologies, is economically unprofitable and requires an integrated approach. The costs for the disposal of some ships are higher than the income from the sale of scrap metal. In addition, due to climatic conditions, it is possible to work in the water area only from April to November.

Another difficulty is that a significant part of the bay's water area is the territory of the naval base, the location of which requires a special level of admission to state secrets. Because of this, organizations involved in the recovery of sunken ships, simply can not get to the site of work. Moreover, some of the ships belong to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, and their rise requires special additional approvals. According to experts from the Ministry of Natural Resources, without federal support for cleaning Avachinskaya Bay from accumulated scrap metal, it can take from 30 to 50 years.


Such "sights" we do not need

While the regional authorities are trying to include a rehabilitation program for Avachinskaya Bay in federal environmental projects, tourist businesses are successfully built on abandoned ships. In the program Kite Ride there are two more routes of this kind. On one of them there is a half-sunken submarine, on the other one the water comes from the village of Avacha to the place where there is a huge abandoned ship. However, Alexei Lonshakov believes that ecology should be a priority and the bay should be cleaned long ago.

"Yes, from a tourist point of view - it's an attractive facility, but with an ecological one - it has already done so much harm. We Kamchatka people must first of all preserve nature. I love the land on which I live, and I want our Avachinskaya lip to be clean, "my interlocutor believes.

Now in the area of ​​the former shipyard "Fresa", where JSC "Development Corporation of the Kamchatka Territory" creates a yacht port, they have taken up the problem of abandoned and sunken ships. So far only managed to raise the PC "Snegirevo." With the second vessel "Moneron" there are still difficulties due to the position of its owner. But there is a certainty that the problem will soon be solved.

As for the pier in the ZhBF area, here, too, the ennobling began - for the time being only the coastal territory. I want to believe that the "iron old-timers" will leave this place forever and tourists will come here for other sights.

PS When this material was being prepared, the water area of ​​Petropavlovsk was almost replenished with yet another iron drowned man. In the Bay of Rakova, the floating dock that belonged to the bankrupt shipyard began to sink. Rescue services took measures to prevent the full sinking of the floating dock under the water. However, the issue of financing these works remains open.

The newspaper "Fisherman of Kamchatka".

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