An excerpt from: David North. "From Russia with Hope." Pacific Islands Monthly, November 1990, p.16.
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Meanwhile, a Russian research vessel cruising in Micronesian waters attracted some attention when it was sighted off Helen's Reef (sometimes called Helen's Island) near the southern edge of Palau's jurisdiction. Helen's Reef, which is also claimed by Indonesia, lies about 200 miles from the nearest Indonesian island of Morotai and is about 300 miles south of Palau's capital on Koror. It surrounds a large lagoon, is routinely uninhabited, but sometimes the Government of Palau stations an observer there with a radio to discourage pouchers [sic] from raiding the rare corals and giant claims found in the area.
The Russian research ship, Academic Karlov, was seen off Helen's Reef; Palau's patrol boat, a former US Coast Guard cutter transferred to Palau earlier this year, headed off to investigate but abandoned the mission when radio messages said that the ship had left Helen's Reef.