Baby Name Story – Karina, After the Kara Sea

In early August, 1933, Soviet steamship Chelyuskin set out on the 4,500-mile journey from Murmansk (a Russian port near Finland) to Vladivostok (a Russian port near China). Over 100 sailors and scientists were aboard. They aimed to prove that a non-icebreaker could traverse the Northern Sea Route in a single season.

On August 31, a baby girl was born on board to the wife of the Wrangel Island surveyor, Comrade Vassiliev. Because the ship was in the Kara Sea at the time, the baby was named Karina.

An entry in the log reads: “5.30, a female child born to the Vassilievs; latitude 750 46.5′ N., longitude 910 .06′ W.”

In December, the Chelyuskin became trapped in ice. It remained trapped for a couple of months until it was finally crushed in February of 1934. The passengers had time to disembark, taking food and supplies, before the ship sank. They set up camp on an ice floe. Rescue planes arrived several weeks later.

The wreck was finally discovered in October of 2006 off the coast of Chukotka (a peninsula near Alaska). In early 2007, a gathering was held in Moscow to celebrate the discovery. In attendance were the two remaining Chelyuskin survivors, one of whom was Karina.


(Wondering what the most popular baby names in Vladivostok happen to be?)

One thought on “Baby Name Story – Karina, After the Kara Sea

  1. I recently discovered a couple of names that can be tied in with this story:

    The head of the Chelyuskin expedition was Soviet scientist Otto Yuliyevich Schmidt. A few years after the sinking of the Chelyuskin, Schmidt supervised the expedition that established the first-ever drift-ice station, the “North Pole-1.” To pay tribute to this accomplishment, some Soviet parents named their children Oyushminald and Oyushminalda–contractions of the phrase “Otto Yulyevich Schmidt on the ice” or “Otto Yulyevich Schmidt on the ice floe.”

    Source: Children of the Revolution

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