site.btaUPDATED RSV 421 Returns Home After 127-Day Voyage to Antarctica
After a 127-day voyage to the Bulgarian base on Livingston Island and back, the first Bulgarian naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421) returned home, docking Tuesday at the Varna Marine Station.
President Rumen Radev, caretaker Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov, caretaker Education Minister Sasho Penov and the Chief of Defence, Admiral Emil Eftimov took part in the official welcoming ceremony. On the pier are Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy (NVNA) Rector, Flotilla Admiral Prof. Boyan Mednikarov, Commander of the Bulgarian Navy, Rear Admiral Kiril Mihaylov, Regional Governor Mario Smurkov, representatives of the local and state authorities, and many citizens.
BTA's Daily News editor Konstantin Karagyozov (pictured) was the only member of the media who travelled on board the ship to Livingston Island and back and covered the Bulgarian expedition on site throughout its stay in Antarctica. The information available in Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA's Log can be accessed for free.
The RSV 421 is owned by a consortium consisting of the Naval Academy, the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia and the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute. The Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii was ceremoniously christened and commissioned into the Bulgarian Navy inventory on July 27, 2021.
Before the ship's first polar mission, it was repaired, modernized and refitted in Varna. On December 27, 2022, RSV 421 set sail from Varna Marine Station, marking the beginning of the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic expedition to the Bulgarian polar base on Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands. The ship was loaded with building materials and equipment that were needed for the construction of a laboratory as part of the Bulgarian base.
On February 4, 2023, RSV 421 arrived in Mar del Plata, Argentina, where a team of polar explorers, researchers and logisticians boarded. The ship then began her final voyage to Livingston, successfully crossing the Drake Passage. It reached its destination on Day 49 of its voyage. The research and construction activities of the Bulgarian polar explorers lasted 24 days.
On March 6, 2023, the Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii set off on her way back to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.