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Home* News and Stories → Lance out of the ice, Ousland-Horn-expedition finished

Lance out of the ice, Ousland-Horn-expedition finished

The adventurers Børge Ousland and Mike Horn are back on solid ground. The research ship Lance has reached Longyearbyen on Saturday and Ousland’s and Horn’s recent crossing of the Arctic Ocean is thus finished. They started in September at 85 degrees north in the Bering Strait sector of the Arctic Ocean, which they had reached with Horn’s sailing boat Pangaea. Horn and Ousland passed the north pole in October. They spent 87 days in the ice, not including the ship-based parts of the expedition.

The original plan was to pick them up from the ice edge north of Spitsbergen with Pangaea, but the operation turned out to be more challenging than expected. As it turned out, the ice-going Lance went into the ice to meet the adventurers. Lance had to move quite far into the drift ice and a helicopter had to be used for the pickup. Even Lance was then not able to leave the ice: the arrival in Longyearbyen, originally expected around 10 December, was finally last Saturday, 28 December, after about 3 weeks of being stuck in ice. A lot of manual work with sawing and carrying ice was done during attempts to get the vessel free. Out of 22 persons originally on board, 3 were evacuated by helicopter. Medical reasons played a role in this. Dynamite was requested to blast the ship free when the helicopter was scheduled, but the transport was finally refused for safety reasons.

Lance stuck in ice

Lance in the ice. Photo © Etienne Claret.

The expedition has drawn considerable media attention, both locally and beyond. Svalbardposten was one of many media that covered the expedition in some detail.

last modification: 2019-12-30 · copyright: Rolf Stange