'The hardest job in the world': Siberian shipyard workers brave freezing cold

'the hardest job in the world': siberian shipyard workers brave freezing cold

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian walks along a street on a frosty day in Yakutsk, Russia, December 5, 2023. Temperatures in parts of the Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia and located in the northeastern part of Siberia, went below minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit) on December 5. REUTERS/Roman Kutukov

YAKUTIA, Russia (Reuters) – A drone flies low over a snow-covered shipyard in Russia’s Far East, where workers toil in subzero temperatures to maintain the hulking vessels during the bitter Siberian winter.

The process of ‘vymorozka,’ which roughly translates as ‘freezing out,’ is backbreaking and tedious work that takes weeks in some of the world’s harshest conditions, with temperatures dropping to minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 F).

Workers chip away at the ice encasing the ships, looking for areas in need of repair. The vessels are docked in the harbour of Yakutsk on the banks of the Lena River, Siberia’s economic lifeblood in summer, during the winter months.

Locals in Yakutia, Russia’s largest republic by landmass, name ‘vymorozka’ as one of the hardest jobs in the world, but the workers themselves say it’s all a matter of perspective.

“You dress the right way and that’s it. When you come (to a heated building) and get undressed, it’s like a sauna, steam rises from you,” worker Mikhail Klus, 48, told Reuters as he took a break from cutting through the ice with a chainsaw.

“I don’t think it’s the hardest job – there are jobs even harder than that, but it’s probably one of the hardest jobs…One needs to try to understand, needs to love the cold and working in it.”

The work requires not only stamina and strength, but also extreme precision.

The labourers must be sure not to cut the ice too quickly and break through to the water below. If they do, the carved dugout can be submerged and the work is lost.

The colder the weather, the better the ice freezes and the smoother the job, although the temperatures are hard on some workers.

“Sometimes, when you freeze, you feel negative emotions from it,” 22-year-old Artyom Kovalec said from under a thick layer of coats, a pickaxe in his mittened hands.

“You feel it’s too cold to work, you want to go home, to eat and relax, so you have to get a grip on yourself.”

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Lucy Papachristou; Editing by Ros Russell)

News Related

OTHER NEWS

From arts to sciences: Once a teacher, always a teacher

Despite doing education at the university, Mellon Kenyangi, also known as Mama Bear, did not think of going to class, and teaching students was her dream job.“Since it was not ... Read more »

WC squad was picked on players’ performance, says Pramodya

213 Sri Lanka Cricket’s Chairman of Selectors, Pramodya Wickramasinghe reported to the Sports Ministry’s Special Investigation Unit( SMSIU) for the Prevention of Sports Offences yesterday for the second day. He ... Read more »

Malindu Dairy bags Industrial Excellence Silver Award

137 Malindu Dairy (Pvt) Ltd., a leading food production company in Sri Lanka, won the Silver Award in the medium-scale dairy and associated products category at the Industrial Excellence Awards ... Read more »

Africans Urged to Invest Among themselves, Explore Investment Opportunities in Continent

Africans Urged to Invest Among themselves, Explore Investment Opportunities in Continent Addis Ababa, November 27/2023(ENA)-The Embassy of Angola in Ethiopia has organized lecture on the “Foreign Investment Opportunities in Angola ... Read more »

Mohan Wimalaratne will lead Police this season

144 The dynamic front row player Mohan Wimalaratne will lead the Police Sports Club Rugby team at the upcoming Nippon Paint Sri Lanka Rugby Major League XV-a-side Rugby Tournament scheduled ... Read more »

Church assists the disabled in Bulawayo

Dozens of people living with disabilities from New Hope Inclusive in Entumbane, Bulawayo on Saturday last week received an early Christmas gift in the form of groceries. The groceries were ... Read more »

Somalia Joins East African Community

The East African Community (EAC) Summit of Heads of State has admitted the Federal Republic of Somalia to the regional bloc, making it its 8th member country. The decision was ... Read more »
Top List in the World