It is with great sadness that we report the passing of one of our most longstanding captains, Alexey Nazarov, who died suddenly and unexpectedly near his home in Russia yesterday. He was 42 years old.
Alexey has been a member of the Oceanwide family for over 20 years. He was a third officer aboard the Russian vessels we first chartered before welcoming Plancius into our fleet. In 2010 he became chief officer of that ship, in 2012 he became her captain, and in 2019 he stood at the helm of our new vessel Hondius as she took her first voyage into the Arctic.
Many of us were fortunate enough to work with Alexey directly, and many of us were even more fortunate to call him friend. His knowledge of the polar regions, experience with ice navigation, and handling of our ships set a high example for everyone around him. Through his impeccable sense of cooperation and teamwork, he helped deliver the best possible voyages for our passengers.
Alexey was most in his element in the polar regions, and he was most at home in cold climates. He was not one for hot weather or fanfare. Rather than partake in ship launch ceremonies, he preferred to sail through the ice. Rather than appear in photographs, he preferred to stand on the bridge. Luckily for us, the ice and the bridge were where he shined.
He was always busy with his passion for polar navigation. As a true explorer of the modern times, he enjoyed surveying new areas to create further possibilities for our vessels. His continuous input was invaluable to the development of our trips and itineraries. He was also active on shore, helping improve our safety management systems and procedures with his significant operational expertise. For more than 20 years, he has been an indispensable part of Oceanwide’s success.
Alexey’s passing is a shocking blow, especially during these difficult times, and it will forever leave an empty spot in our family. Though our voyages will continue, our fleet will always feel his absence. He will be missed not only by our guides, crews, and office staff but also by the global community of polar explorers among whom he was so well known and respected.
Upon receiving this tragic news, we have done our best to personally inform all of our staff before posting anything public. On behalf of everyone at Oceanwide Expeditions, we wish to offer Alexey’s wife, son, and other family members our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt condolences.