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Brave Siberian Shipyard Workers Endure Freezing Temperatures


Feb 12, 2024

In Yakutia, Russia, a drone captures footage of workers laboring in subzero temperatures at a snow-covered shipyard in the Far East. The workers are engaged in the process of ‘vymorozka,’ or ‘freezing out,’ repairs on hulking vessels during the bitter Siberian winter. This backbreaking and tedious work takes weeks to complete in some of the world’s harshest conditions, with temperatures dropping to minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 F).

The workers chip away at the ice encasing the ships, searching for areas in need of repair. The ships are docked in the harbor of Yakutsk on the banks of the Lena River, Siberia’s economic lifeblood in summer, during the winter months. Locals in Yakutia consider ‘vymorozka’ to be one of the hardest jobs in the world, but the workers themselves say it’s all about perspective.

According to worker Mikhail Klus, dressing appropriately for the cold weather and coming in to warm, heated buildings makes the job manageable. He believes that while it is a difficult job, there are even tougher jobs out there. The work requires stamina, strength, and extreme precision, as workers must be careful not to cut the ice too quickly and break through to the water below. The colder the weather, the better the ice freezes, making the job smoother, although the temperatures can take a toll on some workers.

Despite the challenges, the workers must maintain a positive attitude and push through the extreme conditions. Twenty-two-year-old Artyom Kovalec shares that there are times when the cold is difficult to handle, and negative emotions creep in, but he knows he must push through and get a grip on himself to continue working.

By Editor

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