05:45 GMT +323 October 2017
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    Expedition sets off for place of doomed WWII allied convoy ships

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    MURMANSK, July 10 (RIA Novosti, Yekaterina Kozlova) - A North Fleet ship is setting off from Murmansk (northwestern European Russia) this Sunday for an island in the Barents Sea where several allied convoy ships sank during World War Two.

    Vyacheslav Solodov, the captain of the Vizir ship, said that the expedition's task during 10 days of voyage was to find and study eight ships, which included three transport vessels of Panama and the U.S., three British combat ships and two German submarines.

    The exact coordinates of the place of sunken convoy ships are not known. They will be specified with the help of modern equipment.

    The expedition also wants to study the possibility of lifting the ships or their fragments and also their cargoes to use for memorial purposes.

    If the expedition finds that the ships, their fragments and cargoes can be lifted, then its members will start looking for financing sources, once the voyage is over.

    The crewmembers hope that the countries that were the Soviet Union's allies in World War II will be interested in lifting the vessels.

    In addition, the expedition wants to study if the ships and their cargoes are toxic and what effect the ships' explosives, if any, have on the environment. The expedition also aims to find the possibility of pumping out fuel, if it is found.

    One Icelandic and two Russian war veterans are on board the ship. Icelander Peter Olafson participated in polar convoys and visited Murmansk in 1942 as a member of the U.S. PQ-14 convoy.

    According to him, he came to Russia to join the expedition. In Iceland, he carries out work to keep the memory of 250 Icelanders who died in convoy missions, and seeks to unite the remaining 8 convoy participants living in Iceland.

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