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    MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - The management of the U.S. National Science Foundation sent a letter of gratitude to the captain and the crew of the Krasin icebreaker (the Far Eastern Shipping Line) for for exceptional work while assisting McMurdo Station, the press release of the Far Eastern Shipping Company says. McMurdo is the main scientific station of the Antarctic program at the U.S. National Science Foundation.

    On behalf of the Foundation, and personally, we would like to express our immense gratitude for your great and earnest work. The Krasin and its crew perform their duties brilliantly, the letter states in particular.

    According to earlier reports, despite difficult ice and weather conditions, the Krasin ice breaker managed to convoy dry cargo ship MV American Tern with 10,000 tons of food, medical supplies and scientific equipment through ice fields to McMurdo Station. In the near future, right after the unloading of the American vessel, the Russian ice breaker will have to convoy it back to safe seafaring areas.

    The operation aimed at assisting McMurdo Station is being conducted by the Krasin on orders of the Russian government in response to the US request for help. Had the Krasin failed to convoy the US ships to the station, the 1,000-strong personnel of the McMurdo would have had to be evacuated.

    The Krasin ice breaker was built in 1976. A legendary ice breaker under the same name participated in the international operation to rescue an Italian North Pole expedition headed by Umberto Nobile in 1928, and prevented one of the largest sea catastrophes, the Far Eastern Shipping Company press service said.

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