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Home* News and Stories → Search-and-rescue (SAR) operations can be expensive

Search-and-rescue (SAR) operations can be expensive

…or, rather: they ARE expensive, but in the future you are more likely to pay yourself. So far, there have already been 52 helicopter SAR operations, compared to a total of 72 in 2008 and 60 in 2007, a significant increase. The most spectacular case was a long-distance helicopter flight from Spitsbergen to northermost Greenland and back to evacuate a Dane with acute health problems. In a large number of cases, snow-mobile or ski tourists have been evacuated in Spitsbergen, when frost or bad weather started to take a toll. The Sysselmannen sees an increased readiness to use the satellite phone or emergency locator beacon. Aditionally, too many tourists (including locals) seem not to be well enough prepared with equipment adequate for all possible high arctic conditions and willingness to spend a couple of days in a self-built snow cave, a common and usually safe method to sustain during extreme weather conditions seems to decrease.

The Sysselmannen considers to use the “polluter pays principle” in the future.

Expensive: the Sysselmannen helicopter
(here seen during an exercise)

Source: Svalbardposten

last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange