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Home* News and Stories → Father puts hims­elf and his two sons at risk

Father puts hims­elf and his two sons at risk

A Swe­dish fami­ly has shown an ama­zing ran­ge of opti­ons to do it the wrong way: The fami­ly, father and two sons (11 and 20 years old), came to Lon­gye­ar­by­en as indi­vi­du­al tou­rists and ren­ted snow scoo­ters and satel­li­te pho­ne (at least!) for a pri­va­te trip to Barents­burg. As even groups accom­pa­nied by gui­des had deci­ded to can­cel their trips to Barents­burg and take alter­na­ti­ve rou­tes becau­se of adver­se wea­ther con­di­ti­ons, the fami­ly recei­ved war­nings in Lon­gye­ar­by­en to chan­ge their plans, pre­fer­a­b­ly in favour of a gui­ded tour. They went any­way, spent a night in Barents­burg and came into trou­ble on the way back – again after igno­ring a war­ning and advice to wait in Barents­burg for bet­ter wea­ther.

The 3 got stuck in Sem­mel­da­len and cal­led for help. Res­cue teams tried repea­ted­ly with snow scoo­ters and heli­c­op­ter, but had to turn around becau­se of dif­fi­cult con­di­ti­ons. Only when the wea­ther impro­ved slight­ly near mid­night, could res­cuers reach the fami­ly, who was alre­a­dy affec­ted by wet and cold.

The Sys­sel­man­nen stron­gly recom­mends indi­vi­du­al tou­rists wit­hout expe­ri­ence to join gui­ded tours and to con­sider wea­ther fore­cast, advice and war­nings from aut­ho­ri­ties and locals careful­ly. As the fami­ly deci­ded to igno­re the­se com­mon sen­se rules com­ple­te­ly, they may have to face the bill for the search and res­cue ope­ra­ti­on, which is esti­ma­ted around 15.000 Euro.

Should be taken serious­ly: win­ter arc­tic

Father puts himself and his two sons at risk - Podbeschniggbreen

Adden­dum: In a let­ter to the edi­tor (Sval­bard­pos­ten 10/2011), the fami­ly sta­tes that, befo­re start­ing the return trip from Barents­burg, the Sys­sel­man­nen advi­sed that they should try, rather than wai­ting for bet­ter wea­ther in Barents­burg. They also wri­te that tech­ni­cal fail­ure of one of the snow­mo­bi­les and bad bat­tery per­for­mance of the ren­ted satel­li­te pho­ne con­tri­bu­ted to the wor­sening of the situa­ti­on, final­ly lea­ding to a call for help.

Source: Sys­sel­man­nen

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