Kotlin Island
Kotlin (or Kettle; ) is a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

, located near the head of the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

, 20 mi (32.2 km) west of Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 in the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. Kotlin separates the Neva Bay
Neva Bay
The Neva Bay , also known as the Gulf of Kronstadt, is the easternmost part of the Gulf of Finland between Kotlin Island and the Neva River estuary where the city of St. Petersburg is sited....

 from the rest of the gulf. The fortified town of Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...

 is located on the island.

The naval approach to Saint Petersburg was greatly facilitated by the construction in 1875-1885 of a canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

, 23 ft (7 m) deep, through the shallows, whereas cars will soon be able to travel overland to the island by using the Saint Petersburg Dam
Saint Petersburg Dam
The Saint Petersburg Flood Prevention Facility Complex , unofficially the Saint Petersburg Dam, is a complex of dams for flood control near Saint Petersburg, Russia...

 from the north and south shores of the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

. Started in 1980, but delayed by political upheaval in the 1990s, the dam project was completed in 2010 and officially commissioned in 2011.


In general outline, the island forms an elongated triangle, 7.5 mi (12.1 km) in length by about 1 mi (1.6 km) in breadth, with its base towards St Petersburg. The eastern or broad end is occupied by the town of Kronstadt, and shoal
Shoal, shoals or shoaling may mean:* Shoal, a sandbank or reef creating shallow water, especially where it forms a hazard to shipping* Shoal draught , of a boat with shallow draught which can pass over some shoals: see Draft...

s extend for 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from the western point of the island to the rock on which the Tolbaaken lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

 is built.

The island thus divides the seaward approach to St Petersburg into two channels; that on the northern side is obstructed by shoals which extend across it from Kotlin to Lisiy Nos; the southern channel, the highway to the former capital, is narrowed by a spit which projects from opposite Lomonosov
Lomonosov, Russia
Lomonosov is a municipal town in Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, west of St. Petersburg proper. Population:...

 on the Russian mainland, and, lying close to Kronstadt, has been historically strongly guarded by batteries
Artillery battery
In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit of guns, mortars, rockets or missiles so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems...



On November 15, 2000, a collision between two ships, a 67 m (219.8 ft) refrigerator trawler named Nortlandia and a 130 m (426.5 ft) Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

nian-registered cargo vessel named E.W. McKinley, spilled
Oil spill
An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially marine areas, due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term is mostly used to describe marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters...

 3 tons of diesel fuel into the water off Kotlin Island. The smaller ship also sank as a result of the collision after sustaining hull
Hull (watercraft)
A hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. Above the hull is the superstructure and/or deckhouse, where present. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.The structure of the hull varies depending on the vessel type...

 damage, and two crew members required treatment for hypothermia
Hypothermia is a condition in which core temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions which is defined as . Body temperature is usually maintained near a constant level of through biologic homeostasis or thermoregulation...

. The fuel slick covered 11 square kilometre of Kronstadt harbor. By that afternoon, divers had plugged the hole to prevent further leakage, and remediation efforts to contain and remove the spill were underway.
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