The steel motor vessel Borodinskoye Polye was launched from the Stralsund yard of Volkswerft Stralsund Gmbh in 1982. She measured 332.7′ x 50.0′ x 18.7′ and her tonnage was 3147 gross tons. She was powered by an 8 cylinder diesel engine by Karl Liebnecht Veb Schwermaschinbau of Magdeburg delivering 2000 brake horse power. Built for the state owned Western Fish-exploratory and Research Fleet Administration Zaprybpromrazvedka of Kaliningrad she operated as a fish factory vessel supporting the Russian fishing fleet in the northern fishing grounds.
At 11.10pm on the night of 17th November 1993 the huge factory ship ran aground on Unicorn Reef near Lerwick in a south westerly force eight gale. Within 15 minutes the Lerwick lifeboat Soldian was launched and heading the short distance to the wreck site under the command of Coxswain Peter Thomson. When the lifeboat arrived at the scene the Borodinskoye Polye was hard aground beam to the sea with her bows rolling and pitching on the rocks. The pilot vessels Kebister and Knab were also on site and had managed to secure tow lines to the stranded ship. Shortly after a Coastguard Sikorsky helicopter also arrived and began winching off the seventy four crewmen. Coxswain Thomson skilfully manoeuvred the lifeboat alongside in the lee of the ship between her and the jagged rocks. The rolling ship damaged the lifeboat and her gear but they persevered taking off the men one by one. After thirty five dangerous runs in beside the ship Coxswain Thomas and his second Coxswain Clark took off thirty seven survivors. At one point two of the crewmen fell into the sea between the ship and the rocks but Clark successfully manoeuvred the boat and plucked them from the boiling sea. Meanwhile the helicopter had managed to remove the remainder of the crew and both headed back to shore. The lifeboat berthed back in Lerwick at 2:00am.
The grounding of the Borodinskoye Polye, following so closely the stranding of another Klondyker the Lunohods, on the 9th November a few miles north of Lerwick, raised major concerns among the local community about the condition and seaworthiness of these huge vessels which were now very common in the area and the potential environmental implications of another stranding. In the case of the Borodinskoye Polye she was carrying 860 tons of light diesel, 56 tons of heavy oil and 32 tons of lubricating oil. Almost immediately a project to remove the oil before it caused any damaged began. In an operation costing close to £500,000 the oil was successfully pumped onto a sequence of vessels and thankfully very little found it’s way into the sea. The Borodinskoye Polye later was found to be uninsured resulting in the costs being borne by the local authority. It was later announced that the fleet of Koldykers operating in the area, often estimated to be close to one hundered vessels, would be inspected and licences refused to any unseaworthy ships. On December 3rd a newspaper reported the Borodinskoye Polye to be breaking up and already mostly beneath the surface.
The scattered broken wreckage of the Borodinskoye Polye lie in position 60° 13.416’N, 001° 08.874’W oriented 83/267 degrees at Unicorn Reef. She lies in shallow water with most of the wreckage in around 5 metres.