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Home* News and Stories → Northguider still grounded in Hinlopenstretet

Northguider still grounded in Hinlopenstretet

The trawler Northguider is still sitting on ground at Sparreneset in Hinlopenstretet. Photos taken by Kystverket, the Norwegian maritime authority, show that the position of the ship is very close to the coast of Nordaustland. In this area, the sea bottom is falling steeply from shallow waters down to 400 metres in Hinlopenstretet. It is not yet known how Northguider could get into this position. It is said that there were no technical problems before the accident.

The coast guard ship KV Svalbard has been on site and completed the first phase is work, which was assessing the actual situation of the disabled vessel. After an initial period with weather too bad to go near the grounded ship, specialists of coast guard and Kystverket have been on board Northguider, which is still listing with 15 degrees, but seems to be stable, at least so far. No leakage has be observed so far. Northguider has 300 tons of diesel on board. Many smaller items that have negative environmental potential such as batteries, paint, fishing gear etc. were removed.

Fishing trawler Northguider grounded in Hinlopenstretet

Fishing trawler Northguider grounded in Hinlopenstretet, close to the coast of Nordaustland. Photo: Kystverket.

The investigations also made clear that the ship is too strongly damaged to be pulled of the growned. First, the diesel needs to be removed before an attempt can be made to get Northguider floating again.

KV Svalbard has returned to Longyearbyen to pick up the necessary equipment. The Kystverket assumes that the salvage will take considerable time.

Meanwhile, questions are asked why fishing vessels are allowed to operate in the polar night – or at any time – in areas sensitive enough that even the presence of tourists is seen as a problem by some because they might step on a flower or wake up a sleeping walrus. The grounding site is within the boundaries of the Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve. Morten Wegede, environmental adviser of the Sysselmannen, said that the situation was very unfortunate and that protection of the environment has highest priority. To ensure this, the Sysselmannen is working closely together with the coast guard, Kystverket, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the owner of Northguider.

last modification: 2019-01-05 · copyright: Rolf Stange