site.btaDay 33: Officer Designate Petrov: Bulgaria on Livingston Island Contributes Much to Science
Officer Designate Andrey Petrov shared with BTA his belief that Bulgaria's presence on Livingston Island contributes a lot to science. "And it is well known that it [science] is the driving force in people's lives," Petrov noted aboard the Bulgarian military research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (NAVAL RSV 421) on its way to the Antarctic.
Outside his duties as watch officer on RSV 421, Petrov is the Commanding Officer of vessel No. 221 at the naval base in Varna. He has been nominated twice for the title Petty Officer of the Year in the Officer Designate category by Ocean Club magazine.
Petrov clarified: "The first time was for the rescue mission that my crew and I performed after a helicopter crashed into the water. [The incident happened on June 9, 2017, when a Bulgarian Navy AS Panther 565 MB helicopter crashed into the Black Sea during training manoeuvres. The crew of three were recovered from the water, but their commander, Captain Georgi Atanassov, died. The two other crew members, Captain Pavel Simeonov and Captain Anatoli Apostolov were hospitalized with minor injuries.] We arrived first on the scene and started the rescue work. The second time [...] was for my participation in the retrieval of the Vera Su motor ship, stranded off the Kamen Bryag coast, and for my prolonged activity at sea. Throughout 2021, my crew and I spent a total of 52-53 days at sea".
The idea of taking on the challenge of sailing to Antarctica was born back in 2004, when Petrov was serving on the Navy's hydrography vessel Admiral Branimir Ormanov. He said: "Then, in 2004, Prof. Pimpirev and then Foreign Minister Solomon Passy visited the vessel. The idea was born that the government should take some action, so that our scientists could be assisted logistically - with the transfer of materials for a new, state-of-the-art research facility on Livingston Island. For some reason, the plan fell through, but after the idea was revived a year and a half ago, I personally received an invitation from the head of the Naval Academy in Varna, Admiral Boyan Mednikarov, and the deputy head of the academic department, Captain Kalin Kalinov, to join the crew". Eventually, he was assigned as a watch officer.
Petrov spoke about his scientific career. "Fourteen years of my career were spent on the hydrography ship - we did hydrological expeditions, navigational sounding. That is how, together with the Institute of Oceanology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, we once discovered a new species of jellyfish in the Black Sea. I have the necessary insight into such activities to be able to stand firmly behind the idea that the state should support the activities of our scientists on Livingston Island. The fact that we are firmly established on Livingston Island contributes a lot to science," Petrov concluded.
BTA's Daily News editor Konstantin Karagyozov is the only member of the media who is travelling on board the ship to Livingston Island and back, who will cover the Bulgarian expedition on site throughout the stay in Antarctica.
All media outlets can use the Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA's Log for free.