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Daily Archives: 18. December 2016 − News & Stories


Hau­ke Trinks is dead

Hau­ke Trinks was not only a sci­en­tist, but also a Spits­ber­gen adven­turer. He win­tered three times in remo­te places nor­t­hern Sval­bard. Born on Febru­ar 19, 1943 in Ber­lin, he beca­me pre­si­dent of the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty in Ham­burg-Har­burg. After finis­hing his sci­en­ti­fic care­er, he had more time for his pas­si­ons, sai­ling and adven­ture.

In 1999-2000, Hau­ke Trinks win­tered on his own on his yacht Mesuf in Mus­ham­na in Wood­fjord. As a sci­en­tist, he wan­ted to find evi­dence for his theo­ry of an ori­gin of life in the ice. Two more win­terings fol­lo­wed, in 2003-2004 in the old sta­ti­on in Kinn­vi­ka on Nord­aus­t­land and in 2010-2011 once again on his boat in Mus­ham­na. On the­se two later win­terings, he was accom­pa­nied by Marie Tié­che. Hau­ke Trinks told his arc­tic adven­ture sto­ries in seve­ral books and docu­men­ta­ti­ons to a wider public. The­re has hard­ly been a visit to Wood­fjord sin­ce wit­hout the ques­ti­on coming up: “isn’t it someh­we­re around here whe­re Hau­ke Trinks win­tered?”

It is up to dedi­ca­ted sci­en­tists to judge his efforts and results as a reser­a­cher. Opi­ni­ons regar­ding this may be varied, but that does not mat­ter now and here. As a per­son, Hau­ke Trinks easi­ly felt at home in Spits­ber­gen, some­thing that was very evi­dent during seve­ral mee­tings this aut­hor had with Trinks in Mus­ham­na, Kinn­vi­ka and Lon­gye­ar­by­en. To share just one of the­se unfor­gettable moments: when we approa­ched Kinn­vi­ka with MV Pro­fes­sor Mul­ta­novs­kiy in the late sum­mer of 2003, when Hau­ke and Marie were just sett­ling down the­re for the­re win­tering, they quick­ly jum­ped into their Zodiac and took off to dis­ap­pear deep in Murch­ison­fjord as they saw us coming. But as we were about to lea­ve, they retur­ned quick­ly and Hau­ke, being a good nar­ra­tor, was hap­py to share sto­ries and know­ledge with us.

Hau­ke Trinks kept a strong con­nec­tion to the north and sett­led down in his new second home on Utsi­ra in Nor­way. He died in Decem­ber 2016 at the age of 73 in Spits­ber­gen or on Utsi­ra, the sources are not yet quite clear about this. We will keep fond memo­ries of him as one of few adven­tu­r­ers who, in recent years, ven­tu­red on month-long expe­di­ti­ons on his own or with just one more per­son into the polar night and the ice, fol­lo­wing a sci­en­ti­fic quest, and as a uni­que, very likeable cha­rac­ter.

Hau­ke Trinks and Marie Tiè­che in Kinn­vi­ka, 2003.

Hauke Trinks und Marie Tiéche, Kinnvika

Sources: Press release Tech­ni­sche Uni­ver­si­tät Ham­burg-Har­burg, Ham­bur­ger Abend­blatt

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