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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
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