Ship carrying VIMS researchers grounds in Canadian Arctic

The research ship Akademik Ioffe. (WYDaily photo/Wikicommons)
The research ship Akademik Ioffe. (Southside Daily photo/Wiki Commons)

A ship carrying two researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science ran aground in the Canadian Arctic last week, cutting short a project to explore the region.

VIMS assistant professor Donglai Gong and graduate student Lydia Bienlien were among the passengers on the Akademik Ioffe, a 364-foot research vessel equipped with multiple laboratories and a vast array of oceanographic research tools.

The ship was exploring the Canadian Arctic as part of the Northwest Passage Project, which included scientists, education professionals and students from several universities and agencies, VIMS said.

The ship ran aground Aug. 24. in the western Gulf of Boothia, a body of water off Nunavut, Canada, according to a news release from the University of Rhode Island, which also was participating in the expedition.

No one was injured, and the ship was refloated the next day.

All of the passengers aboard the Akademik Ioffe were transferred to another vessel and taken to shore, according to the Northwest Passage Project.

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