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Home* News and Stories → Fishing ves­sel in mari­ti­me distress in Hin­lo­pen Strait

Fishing ves­sel in mari­ti­me distress in Hin­lo­pen Strait

A fishing ves­sel got into serious trou­ble in Hin­lo­pen Strait in nor­t­hern Sval­bard, as the SAR cen­tral in north Nor­way infor­med. The Nor­we­gi­an ship “North­gui­der” had rai­sed the alarm at 1322 hours (local time) today (Fri­day), whereu­pon the SAR machi­nery in Lon­gye­ar­by­en and north Nor­way was put into ope­ra­ti­on. Soon, both res­cue heli­c­op­ters went up in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, the first one arri­ved on sce­ne at about 1515 hours, less than 2 hours after the alarm bell had rung in the SAR cen­tral in north Nor­way. At the same time, an Ori­on air­craft took off from Andøya in Nor­way. Depen­ding on the exact type, the­se air­craft may be used in SAR mis­si­ons for exam­p­le to search for miss­ing ves­sels or per­sons or to sur­vey poten­ti­al oil spills.

SAR helicopter Sysselmannen

SAR heli­c­op­ter of the Sys­sel­man­nen, here seen during an exer­cise.

But the good news is that all per­sons seem to be well. The crew of 14 have dres­sed up in sur­vi­val suits and gone to the bow area to be picked up by the res­cue heli­c­op­ters. Accor­ding to the ship owner, all per­sons are sup­po­sed to be well, at least con­side­ring the cir­cum­s­tances. Nobo­dy is inju­red or has been in cold water.

The North­gui­der appears to have hit the ground on the coast of Nord­aus­t­land south of Murch­ison­fjord. She is now sit­ting on the ground and lis­ting with 20 degrees but the posi­ti­on seems to be sta­ble so far. The wea­ther – about 18 degrees cen­ti­gra­de below free­zing, dark­ness and strong wind (Beau­fort 6) – makes the res­cue ope­ra­ti­ons chal­len­ging, but the­re is no reason to belie­ve that the Nor­we­gi­an SAR pro­fes­sio­nals are not able to get all crew mem­bers off soon.

Kalkstranda, Hinlopen Strait

Kalkst­ran­da in Hin­lo­pen Strait, south of Murch­ison­fjord: the North­gui­der is sup­po­sed to have run aground some­whe­re here. Con­di­ti­ons the­re are quite dif­fe­rent from the pho­to now, with dark­ness, cold and wind.

The coast guard ship KV Barents­hav has set cour­se for Hin­lo­pen Strait, but is not expec­ted to arri­ve the­re befo­re Satur­day. Polar­sys­sel, the Sysselmannen’s ser­vice ship, is not available in Spits­ber­gen in win­ter­ti­me.

Update: the SAR cen­tral North Nor­way informs that all 14 per­sons were taken into the heli­c­op­ters and are by now taken care of in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The North­gui­der is still sit­ting on the ground, taking in water.



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last modification: 2018-12-28 · copyright: Rolf Stange