The USSR vessel CEMEH KOCNHOB    ( needs a translation )   RWJ?

By Jack Willis

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  • The motor vessel SEMEN KOSINOV was built in 1968 and of 4482 tons gross, 6459 deadweight. Its registered owner was Baltic Shipping Co, Leningrad, USSR. It was quite unremarkable in its day and was very much the same as dozens of other vessels of similar size owned by the USSR and which found their way to Tilbury and elsewhere in the port of London. It lasted less than ten years as a cargo ship and in 1978 emerged from major conversion into the research ship KOSMONAVT VIKTOR PATSAEV. It was involved for many years as a tracking vessel for the Soviet space program. When it had served its purpose after a few years in that role, it became an oceanographic research vessel with the same name. Its appearance after its major conversion offered little clues as to its former self as a very ordinary cargo ship. It was painted all white, had a new superstructure and bridge added well forward and was fitted with an array of scientific tracking equipment on its decks. And it still exists. It is now permanently berthed at the Museum of the World Ocean in Kaliningrad, Russia, and is open to the public most of the year. I had hoped to upload here an image of the vessel, as it now appears, but alas could not.

    By Roger Jordan (30/12/2016)

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