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Home* News and Stories → Nor­we­gi­an coast­guard and Sys­sel­man­nen fly­ing low over wal­rus colo­ny

Nor­we­gi­an coast­guard and Sys­sel­man­nen fly­ing low over wal­rus colo­ny

On June 24, a group of tou­rists and gui­des approa­ched a wal­rus herd hau­led out on Nord­aus­t­land, when a small pla­ne appeared, fly­ing repea­ted­ly very low over the wal­rus­ses which star­ted to show signs of panic. The pla­ne, a Dor­nier 228, was fly­ing for the Nor­we­gi­an coast­guard, who „con­trol­led“ crui­se ships and cont­ac­ted them to gather infor­ma­ti­on about the num­bers of pas­sen­gers and crew on board; infor­ma­ti­on which the Sys­sel­man­nen has from the man­da­to­ry appli­ca­ti­on pro­cess pri­or to all crui­ses.

Nor­mal­ly, it is the Sys­sel­man­nen who con­trols tou­rist traf­fic and not the coast­guard. It is not known why, in this case, the coast­guard took the job. A Sys­sel­man­nen repre­sen­ta­ti­ve was also on board the air­craft.

Accor­ding to the Sval­bard envi­ron­men­tal act, all traf­fic has to be done in such a way to mini­mi­ze dis­tur­ban­ce of humans and ani­mals. All air­craft have to keep a distance of 6000 feet from known wal­rus colo­nies. The actu­al distance in this inci­dence was a small frac­tion of 6000 feet.

Accor­ding to the Sys­sel­man­nen, the requi­red distance was pos­si­bly „for­got­ten“. The inci­dent does not seem to have con­se­quen­ces for tho­se invol­ved bey­ond a gent­le remin­der of legal requi­re­ments.

Wal­rus colo­ny, Nord­aus­t­land.

flying low over walrus colony: Walrusses, Nordaustland

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten (3812)



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