Berdnikov Nikolay Vasilyevich 
(1901–28.10.1940)


Soviet arctic captain. 
Born in the village of Vavozh, Malmyzhsky district, Vyatka province. The family moved to Arkhangelsk, where Berdnikov studied at the gymnasium, and in the summer, on holidays, he sailed as cabin boat on the Svetlana sailboat. The sea attracted the young man, and at the end of the gymnasium in 1919, he hired a sailor on the sailing ship "Antony", and a year later he switched to h/v "Bednota". 
After serving in the army, Berdnikov continued to work on various vessels, in his spare time preparing for admission to the Arkhangelsk Technical School of water transport, enrolled in it and in 1930 received a diploma in navigating small swimming. Starting with the navigator of the steamer "Volga", a year later he moved as a second assistant to B.I. Erokhin on
icebreaking steamer "Vladimir Rusanov". 
In 1932, an expedition of the Institute for the Study of the North led by R.L. Samoylovich. She made a change of polar explorers G.А. Ushakov on Domashny Island, a number of islands in the Kara Sea were opened, hydrological and hydrographic work was carried out in the Shokalsky Strait, a polar station was founded on Cape Chelyuskin, which was headed by B.D. Georgievsky. 
In the summer navigation of 1933 and 1934, Berdnikov also served on the Rusanov, but already having a long-distance navigator diploma. Flights were made to the Laptev Sea - to the Maria Pronchishcheva and Nordvik bays, where various cargoes were delivered to support the work of geologists and drillers. 
According to the recollections of the people who worked with Berdnikov, he outwardly produced the impression of a silent and closed person, but behind the apparent severity were kindness and responsiveness. He read a lot, loved music, played several instruments, edited a wall newspaper, was an interesting conversationalist. 
In 1939, Berdnikov commanded the
icebreaking steamer "Malygin", on which he made a through voyage of the Northern Sea Route from west to east. A hydrographic and hydrological expedition led by Ya.K. Smirnitsky and G.E. Ratmanov. The following year, work continued in the Chukchi and East Siberian Seas. After completing them and taking a shift of wintering workers from the island of Henrietta in the De Long archipelago, the Malygin arrived in Providence Bay, from where on October 23 he headed for Vladivostok, having 85 people on board, including 12 women.

 

Henrietta Island. Abandoned polar station. 2011

(photo by N. M. Stolbov)


Four days later, a radio station in Petropavlovsk and ships in the region received a distress call from Malygin. Off the eastern coast of Kamchatka, a hurricane blew off the bunker's deck mouth. A lot of water got into the stoker, steam in the ship’s boilers sat down, control was lost, the bank reached 20 degrees. In the latest radiograms, Berdnikov reported that the water was coming, the bulkheads were breaking, superstructures were crumbling, the anchors did not reach the bottom, all life-saving appliances were destroyed by the hurricane. The situation is hopeless. At about 2 am on October 28, the Malygin abruptly got on board and sank. 
The search continued for 43 days. On the shore were thrown remnants of superstructures, a broken boat and several other items. Objects in the Arctic are named after many malygyntsy. This is Ya. K. Smirnitsky, N.A. Lebedinsky, D.S. Fomenko, N.Ya. Kolodiev (a bay on the eastern shore of Nansen Island in the Franz Josef Land Archipelago). 
Cape in the north of 
Southern Hochstetter Island in the archipelago of Franz-Josef Land. According to polar hydrographists, the name was approved in 1963 by the Arkhangelsk Regional Executive Committee (Decision No. 651).

 

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