As collaborators in the Northwest Passage Project, VIMS assistant professor Donglai Gong and graduate student Lydia Bienlien were aboard the vessel Akademik Ioffe when it grounded on August 24th in the Canadian Arctic. Gong and Bielien, along with all other passengers and crew, are safe and sound, as noted in this press release from the University of Rhode Island, but the expedition has been cancelled. As the lead scientific institute on the Northwest Passage Project, URI and its Graduate School of Oceanography are managing communications related to the scientific parties involved in this incident. The project was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Media coverage of the incident is available here: https://globalnews.ca/news/4409399/grounded-passenger-ship-akademik-ioffe-refloated-in-canadian-arctic/
Coverage of Gong and Bienlien's planned research activities during the Northwest Passage Project is available here: http://www.dailypress.com/news/science/dp-nws-arctic-science-cruises-20180730-story.html#