Russian icebreaker Yamal picks up French arctic explorer off icefloe

The Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker Yamal has picked up from an icefloe a French explorer of the Arctic, Jean Louis Etienne, this correspondent was told on Friday at the press-service of the Murmansk Shipping Company.

The nuclear icebreaker Yamal, on Tuesday July 2, took on board in the Spitsbergen archipelago a group of overseas tourists and several French scientists -- colleagues of Etienne -- and set course towards the icefloe on which the traveler was drifting. On Thursday evening the French explorer was picked off the icefloe.

Etienne had been landed on the North Pole by helicopter on April 14. The scientist had a special heat-retaining capsule -- a home -- supplies of food, medicine, communication facilities, and scientific instruments that made possible observations during the drift.

For two months the icefloe had moved from the North Pole by roughly 2.5 degrees.

The nuclear icebreaker picked up the solo scientist and his capsule home. Etienne is feeling normal.

The Yamal will return to Spitsbergen, depending on the ice situation, on Saturday or Sunday.

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