The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

“Fedor Litke”

Reference work entry
“Fedor Litke” – (former “Earl Grey”) an icebreaker of the Russian Arctic Fleet (ice cutter), built in 1909 in the UK on the factory of “Vickers & Co” on commission from the Canadian government. It was 83 m long and 14.5 m wide with the molded depth of 8.45 m, the displacement of 4,200 tons, and the speed of 18.5 knots. It differed from the icebreakers by its pointed forebody, for which it was named “Ice cutter.” In 1914 it was bought by Russia and renamed “Canada.” V.Y. Vize called it the “White Swan.” In 1917 it sank at the Jokangsky roads of the Barents Sea. In the same year, it was raised and after a reconstruction was included into the Arctic Ocean Fleet. In 1920 it was renamed “The Third International.” In 1921 it was named after the Russian Arctic explorer Admiral F.P. Litke. In 1934 the steamer made the first through voyage on the Northern Sea Route from east to west in one navigation (with N.M. Nikolaev as captain and V.Y. Vize as supervisor). Moreover, by the Komsomolsk Islands, the steamer rescued from ice three ships of the First Lena Expedition. It was excluded from the list of the merchant fleet in 1958.

“Fedor Litke” – (former “Earl Grey”) (Source:

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