July 5, 2012, Gambell, St. Laurence Island – BSSN Community Research Assistant, Joni Ungott, reported about a life boat drifting near Gambell. The hunters towed the boat and think it is from the Russian cruise ship that sunk about a year ago.
This is a stark reminder of how perilous sailing in Arctic waters can be: search and rescue infrastructure is insufficient, and communities are not prepared to deal with possible consequences of accidents. Sea ice continues its retreat and the shipping traffic through Arctic waters is increasing. Communities, such as Gambell, need to have better means to respond and protect themselves from possible devastating effects of marine activities in the Arctic.