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Yearly Archives: 2019 − News & Stories


Engelskbuk­ta, Fjor­ten­de Juli­buk­ta – 28th June 2019

A fair bree­ze has brought us up north again. A few years ago in Engelskbuk­ta, a gla­cier had advan­ced stron­gly and tur­ned its sur­roun­dings into an impres­si­ve ice age land­scape. Geo­mor­pho­lo­gy live! And a chan­ce for an easy, litt­le gla­cier hike.

A cou­ple of hours later are we in Kross­fjord. Wind, sun, blue sky, blue water, rug­ged moun­ta­ins, wild gla­ciers, guil­l­emots, puf­fins, green slo­pes with colourful flowers. A para­di­se of arc­tic natu­re!

Gal­lery – Engelskbuk­ta, Fjor­ten­de Juli­buk­ta – 28th June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

But a win­dy one. After a stun­ning pas­sa­ge near Blomtrand­breen, we drop the anchor behind Blom­strand­hal­vøya for a calm night.

Bell­sund – 27th June 2019

Sou­thwards – that was to be Horn­sund for us. After che­cking the updated wea­ther fore­cast, we had chan­ged our plan and went to Bell­sund. The wea­ther does not seem to be too pro­mi­sing fur­ther south.

So Bell­sund is the place for today. It is a bit grey, but calm and silent as the anchor goes down after break­fast.

Recher­chefjord is a place full of histo­ry from seve­ral cen­tu­ries. Like the first win­te­rers on Spits­ber­gen, Tsjitsjagov’s bad­ly plan­ned expe­di­ti­on, the rather suc­cessful Recher­che-expe­di­ti­on, the unlu­cky voya­ge of the Mon­te Cer­van­tes and the mys­tery of Gjæver’s Vil­la.

Other sto­ries reach fur­ther back. Such as the fos­si­li­sed morai­ne that dates to the snow­ball earth era. Almost 600 mil­li­on years back.

Later, we enjoy a good tun­dra walk in Van Keu­len­fjord. Ple­nty of curious reinde­er ever­y­whe­re. We reach some beau­tiful view­points and stun­ning sce­n­ery, befo­re we get back to the ship, a bit late for din­ner.

Gal­lery – Bell­sund – 27th June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

I almost can’t belie­ve it when Cap­tain Robert shows me the latest wea­ther fore­cast. Sou­the­as­tern Spits­ber­gen, until recent­ly the place whe­re we wan­ted to go, will soon turn into a very unp­lea­sant wea­ther hole. We pre­fer to chan­ge our plans and stay some­whe­re nice, so we set cour­se nor­thwards again. It may look a bit stran­ge later on the map, but cares?

For­lands­und – 26th June 2019

The last two weeks in Lon­gye­ar­by­en went by very quick­ly … and now we are alre­a­dy off again, with 2 ½ weeks of sai­ling in Spits­ber­gen with SV Anti­gua ahead of us.

The north coast is still in den­se ice, so we will pro­ba­b­ly spend some time in the south and sou­the­ast. But to start with, we go at least a litt­le bit nor­thwards. Recent sightin­gs have con­firm­ed good chan­ces to see wal­ru­ses in For­lands­und, and the wea­ther fore­cast seems per­fect: a calm day for excur­si­ons and then a fair nor­t­her­ly bree­ze to fill the sails on the way south.

So here we go. On the first mor­ning of the trip, we wake up at anchor near a litt­le pen­in­su­la in For­lands­und. The­re is a group of wal­rus hau­led out on shore, may­be 40-50 ani­mals. And … two polar bears! A mother and her second year cub are making their way towards the wal­ru­ses.

It was to be a stun­ning mor­ning. With the Zodiacs we mana­ged to get into a good posi­ti­on to be a fly on the wall. The bears tried to make the wal­rus panic, but wit­hout much suc­cess. Final­ly they moved away again a bit, wal­ked up and down the beach and final­ly laid down for a rest. A beau­tiful series of events and beha­viours, which we are bles­sed to have wit­nessed!

Gal­lery – For­lands­und – 26th June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Later we go for a litt­le tun­dra walk at Mur­ray­pyn­ten on Prins Karls For­land to earth our­selvs again (quite lite­ral­ly, the tun­dra is still quite wet and a bit bog­gy …)

Once all are back on board, we prepa­re the sails. The engi­ne can take a break, the wind is doing the work for us now. Let’s go south!

Isfjord – 08th June 2019

It is unbe­lie­va­ble how time flies – not the trip was short, actual­ly! But the days were full and exci­ting. Today, we are back in Isfjord, and now the sun comes final­ly out behind the clouds. We have deser­ved that, we have not seen much from the sun recent­ly.

Ever­y­bo­dy is exci­ted, and the­re is a gre­at moti­va­ti­on to see more wild­life. Not that we haven’t seen any so far, but still. So we move on with Anti­gua, crui­sing various bays. And the guys are the­re. Wal­ru­ses in Bore­buk­ta. And the­re is even a polar bear near Sveab­reen. The bear is having break­fast with a seal. Well, in a way. Being the seal would be rather unfort­u­na­te.

It is a won­derful after­noon to round a gre­at trip off. We enjoy the who­le sce­n­ery with a lot of time, silence and peace. The­re is a lot of ice around us, drif­ting bits and pie­ces of gla­cier ice, fast ice towards the gla­cier, and the moun­ta­ins are still lar­ge­ly snow-cover­ed. Final­ly we step into the Zodiacs once again to enjoy the ice.

Gal­lery – Isfjord – 08th June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Then it is time to set cour­se for Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

For­lands­und – 07th June 2019

It is love­ly to return to the tun­dra after so much snow and ice fur­ther north. The­re is, of cour­se, still a lot of snow also at sea level here at the cen­tral west coast, but the snow-free patches of vege­ta­ti­on are get­ting lar­ger and lar­ger, to the delight of geese and reinde­er, which are here in num­bers. We have even found some ear­ly flowers of the pur­ple saxif­ra­ge!

We are in Eidem­buk­ta and ven­ture out in three groups for a litt­le walk, fol­lo­wing the beau­tiful coast­li­ne and hiking to some low hills for the views. As always, Ingolf mana­ges to find some inte­res­t­ing birds, such as the first grey phalar­opes of the trip, and even some com­mon sco­ters. And the­re are geese, main­ly bar­na­cle geese, and of cour­se ple­nty of reinde­er. In some places the snow is still deep enough to make wal­king a bit chal­len­ging, but it is good fun at the same time and of cour­se it is good to burn some calo­ries …

Later we move up to St. Jons­fjord, whe­re we have a look at the fast ice edge and then drop the anchor near Gaf­fel­breen. Also here, we go for a walk. Some enjoy the views of the gla­cier from the morai­ne ridge, while others visit a litt­le hut, built from drift­wood logs.

Gal­lery – For­lands­und – 07th June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Back on Anti­gua, it is time to cele­bra­te. It was – and still is – a gre­at trip. Anni­ka, Chris­tin and Jana have pre­pared a litt­le par­ty for ever­y­bo­dy, and Sascha is making sure that the BBQ is on and red-hot, with ple­nty of goo­dies. A big thanks to all of you – it is a gre­at evening in good com­pa­ny and stun­ning sur­roun­dings!

Drift ice – 05th and 06th June 2019

It is ama­zing how quick­ly things chan­ge here: just yes­ter­day, Dans­ke­gat­tet was com­ple­te­ly ice free, and now the­re are floes of loo­se drift ice, so we stay away from this part­ly shal­low pas­sa­ge and keep to the outer side of Ams­ter­damøya.

Drift ice around the nor­thwest cor­ner of Spits­ber­gen. That is how it used to be – just that it used to be well into July in the old days and not just in the begin­ning of June, as it is now.

We pass one field of drift ice after the other, and some of the off­ly­ing islands: Fug­le­son­gen, whe­re we hear the cra­zy laugh­ter of the thou­sands of litt­le auks, and Klov­nin­gen. Later, we reach the ent­rance to Raud­fjord. Den­se drift ice ever­y­whe­re, and the who­le map is still fro­zen solid, at least accor­ding to the ice chart. After a litt­le Zodiac excur­si­on, we take off and move out, as we don’t want to spend a cou­ple of weeks here.

Mean­while, the drift ice around Ams­ter­damøya has beco­me so den­se that the pas­sa­ge back to open water takes more time than plan­ned. This is gre­at – natu­re is in con­trol! We spend one more night, just drif­ting in an area of open drift ice, and then it takes about half a day to navi­ga­te through Smee­ren­burg­fjord and Sør­gat­tet.

Gal­lery – Drift ice – 05th and 06th June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

From the­re, we fol­low the west coast to the south. Ever­y­thing here is grey today. In the evening, we reach Prins Karls For­land, whe­re we visit a group of pret­ty acti­ve wal­ru­ses to round the day off.

Gal­lery – Drift ice – 05th and 06th June 2019 – 2

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Dan­s­køya – 04th June 2019

We had rea­ched the nor­thwes­tern cor­ner of Spits­ber­gen over night. Here, in the high north, the land was still cover­ed with a thick lay­er of snow, so we got the snow shoes out and went for a love­ly walk.

On the way to Smee­ren­burg­breen (-gla­cier), we found two wal­ru­ses. One of them was quite curious and swam towards the ship. The wild­life encoun­ters that invol­ve the curiou­si­ty of the ani­mals as much as ours are always the best ones!

Final­ly we took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to revi­ve an old and almost for­got­ten tra­di­ti­on. We went to the „post­box“ in Kob­befjord on Dan­s­køya, a cairn whe­re north­go­ing ships used to lea­ve mail. This was often their last oppor­tu­ni­ty for weeks or even months to make cont­act with the out­side world! South­bound ships went and took the mail with them if the oppor­tu­ni­ty occu­red and deli­ver­ed the let­ters to a post office in Nor­way. Let’s see when our post­cards arri­ve at their desti­na­ti­on …?

Gal­lery – Dan­s­køya – 04th June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Some har­bour seals have alre­a­dy occu­p­ied their sum­mer posi­ti­on on rocks on shal­low waters just off the shore.

For­lands­und & Kross­fjord – 03rd June 2019

The wea­ther in For­lands­und was not quite like what the fore­cast had pro­mi­sed: a stiff nor­t­her­ly bree­ze made things a bit dif­fi­cult and life unfom­for­ta­ble until we had rea­ched shel­te­red waters again in Kross­fjord. The­re, we were hap­py to walk on solid ground again. We had a look at the remains of the geo­phy­si­cal obser­va­to­ry that was ope­ra­ted in Ebelt­oft­ham­na from 1912 to 1914 and later we visi­ted a sea­bird colo­ny fur­ther north in Kross­fjord.

Gal­lery – For­lands­und & Kross­fjord – 03rd June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Bil­lefjord – 02nd June 2019

We were very curious what the day might bring – the­re had been ple­nty of polar bear sightin­gs recent­ly in Bil­lefjord. Just yes­ter­day, no less than 3 bears had been obser­ved here! So soon under break­fast we were under steam again. Just a few miles to the ice edge in inner Bil­lefjord.

It did not take much time until we had seen the bears on the fast ice near Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen, but far away, too far for good pho­to­gra­phy. One of the bears was eating a seal, the other one was wal­king back and forth in the same area, wai­ting for his chan­ce to get a share of the meal. We fol­lo­wed the who­le sce­ne with our bino­cu­lars and secu­red good views with Ingolf’s telescope, but it was too far to obtain reasonable pho­tos. But the who­le land­scape set­ting was stun­ning, with the ice cliff of the gla­cier in the back­ground and the ice edge whe­re some seals were res­t­ing on ice or play­ing in the water.

Gal­lery – Bil­lefjord – 02nd June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Later, we ven­tu­red for our first landing in Skans­buk­ta, whe­re we saw reinde­er in ama­zing num­bers and we enjoy­ed the sun­ny views of the impres­si­ve sce­n­ery – well deser­ved after ascen­ding the slo­pe through deep snow.

Lon­gye­ar­by­en – Skans­buk­ta, 01st June 2019

Bra­ve Mara­thon-run­ners do their work in and near Lon­gye­ar­by­en, while we get rea­dy for action on Anti­gua. In the after­noon, we are rea­dy to set sail on Anti­gua, and that is exact­ly what we actual­ly do as soon as Cap­tain Robert has said hel­lo to ever­y­bo­dy. A brief intro­duc­tion turns us all into real sai­lers, and soon the can­vas goes up into the bree­ze, and the reason­ab­ly warm sun sees us sai­ling out of Advent­fjord and nor­thwards, across Sas­senfjord.

We have set cour­se for Skans­buk­ta, whe­re we drop the anchor for the night. It is a won­derful nor­t­hern evening in good com­pa­ny, many here on board have been on Anti­gua more often than some of the crew!

Gal­lery – Lon­gye­ar­by­en – Skans­buk­ta, 01st June 2019

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Ingolf has got a lot of work with his telescope, the­re are ple­nty of reinde­er and seve­ral arc­tic foxes on the tun­dra and hundreds of com­mon eiders with an ama­zing num­ber of king eiders among­st them.

Spits­ber­gen under sail 2019 and Rolf’s arc­tic blog start­ing now

The arc­tic sum­mer sea­son “Spits­ber­gen under sail” is start­ing tomor­row (Satur­day) with sV Anti­gua: we are start­ing our first depar­tu­re in Lon­gye­ar­by­en – arc­tic spring/early sum­mer. Explo­ring stun­ning land­scapes, ice and snow and the arc­tic wild­life under sail!

SV Antigua: Spitsbergen under sail

Spits­ber­gen under sail: with SV Anti­gua to the ice.

And this means of cour­se that my arc­tic blog on exact­ly this page will be updated again regu­lar­ly, and it is abso­lut­e­ly worth coming back and che­cking for new pho­tos and short sto­ries. Join us online when we explo­re remo­te arc­tic fjords and islands and meet the wild­life! We will explo­re Spits­ber­gen seve­ral times under sail with SV Anti­gua, but also with the smal­ler SY Arc­ti­ca II and we will also ven­ture to Green­land with the good SY Anne-Mar­ga­re­tha.

And if you want to join us in real life – the voya­ge descrip­ti­ons for 2020 are now online! (Ger­man only, sor­ry, but that is the board lan­guage on the­se trips).

Polar bear clo­se to Lon­gye­ar­by­en

A polar bear was seen clo­se to Lon­gye­ar­by­en near 5 a.m. on Mon­day (27 May) mor­ning. It was in Advent­da­len, not far from the road and the lower­most hou­ses. The Sys­sel­man­nen (poli­ce) was cal­led, seve­ral shots were fired with a fla­re gun and the heli­c­op­ter went out to sca­re the bear away from Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The bear then wal­ked away along the shore towards Hior­th­hamn, on the other side of Advent­fjord.

The public is remin­ded to take the risk of mee­ting a polar bear serious­ly also near Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Sysselmannen's helicopter and the polar bear

The Sysselmannen’s heli­c­op­ter and the polar bear (lower left) in Advent­da­len.

Geese arri­ved in Spits­ber­gen after spring migra­ti­on

Spring has also arri­ved in arc­tic Spits­ber­gen. Ear­ly migra­ting birds such as the snow bun­ting and Litt­le auk came alre­a­dy more than a month ago in April, fil­ling the tun­dra in and around Lon­gye­ar­by­en respec­tively the moun­tain slo­pes with their sin­ging (snow bun­ting) and cra­zy laugh­ter (snow bun­ting).

Tem­pe­ra­tures are still cold, mild frost, but the snow-free tun­dra patches are gro­wing every day and the rivers show signs of brea­king up.

Adventdalen

Tun­dra is coming through the snow in Advent­da­len.

By now, most migra­ting birds have retur­ned to their sum­mer ter­ri­to­ries. A good week ago, the first Pink-foo­ted geese were sud­den­ly sit­ting, well camou­fla­ged, on the tun­dra next to the roads in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, and the first Bar­na­cle geese fol­lo­wed soon.

Brent geese, Adventfjord

Brent geese on the shore of Advent­fjord (a Bar­na­cle goo­se in the back­ground).

Once the first geese had arri­ved, dozens and hundreds fol­lo­wed during the next cou­ple of days to sett­le down on snow-free tun­dra are­as in Advent­da­len and even within Lon­gye­ar­by­en. In this area, the snow melt starts regu­lar­ly a cou­ple of weeks ear­ly than else­whe­re in Spits­ber­gen, making the tun­dra are­as here an important res­t­ing area for many birds, which feed on tun­dra vege­ta­ti­on, after their spring migra­ti­on. Later they will disper­se to their various bree­ding are­as within the regi­on.

Brent geese

Brent geese on the shore of Advent­fjord (Pink-foo­ted geese in the fore­ground).

Curr­ent­ly, it is very easy to obser­ve all geese spe­ci­es that breed in Spits­ber­gen as well as Com­mon eider ducks, King eider and many otehr spe­ci­es very clo­se to or even within Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Soon they will move to more inac­ces­si­ble are­as and then most of them will also be very shy. Then, it will be much more dif­fi­cult, if not impos­si­ble, to secu­re good obser­va­tions and pho­tos, even with good equip­ment.

Espe­ci­al­ly the Brent goo­se is a dif­fi­cult spe­ci­es to obser­ve. It is not an ever­y­day sight during the sum­mer and obser­va­tions are usual­ly from a grea­ter distance. So it is a spe­cial plea­su­re to see this spe­ci­es on a short distance on the shore of Advent­fjord just next to Lon­gye­ar­by­en. As long as you stay a bit hid­den or within a car, the risk of dis­tur­ban­ce is low.

Pink footed goose, Barnacle goose and Brent goose, Adventfjord

All three spe­ci­es of geese that breed in Spits­ber­gen in one pho­to:
Pink foo­ted goo­se, Bar­na­cle goo­se and Brent goo­se, Advent­fjord.

I am almost a bit proud of this last pho­to that has all three spe­ci­es of geese that breed in Spits­ber­gen in one frame: Pink foo­ted goo­se (upper left, not sharp), Bar­na­cle goo­se (lower left) and Brent goo­se (lower right).

Housing mar­ket in Lon­gye­ar­by­en: ava­lan­ches and Airbnb

Housing mar­ket in Lon­gye­ar­by­en under pres­su­re

The dif­fi­cult housing mar­ket in Lon­gye­ar­by­en has been the sub­ject on the­se pages alre­a­dy seve­ral times befo­re. For years, it has been almost impos­si­ble to find an afforda­ble place to live.

139 flats to be demo­lished

The situa­ti­on got worse after the tra­gic 2015 ava­lan­che, which kil­led 2 peo­p­le in their homes and des­troy­ed seve­ral hou­ses. In the after­math, a new ava­lan­che risk eva­lua­ti­on was made for Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The sho­cking result is that hou­ses with a total of no less than 139 flats have to be demo­lished, and ava­lan­che bar­riers to secu­re remai­ning buil­dings are nee­ded. A num­ber of ava­lan­che pro­tec­tions have alre­a­dy been built on the slo­pes of Suk­ker­top­pen.

Fur­ther 41 fats at risk

Now doubts are coming up if it will actual­ly be pos­si­ble to secu­re some of the remai­ning buil­dings suff­ci­ent­ly. The requi­re­ment is to build ava­lan­che pro­tec­tion that is strong enough even for worst case sce­na­ri­os of cli­ma­te chan­ge – “busi­ness as usu­al” sce­na­ri­os regar­ding future glo­bal CO2 emis­si­ons. In this case, foun­da­ti­ons would have to go as deep down into the slo­pe as 14 met­res to make the bar­riers strong enough.

The ques­ti­on is if this is actual­ly pos­si­ble in the steep ter­rain. The ans­wer is curr­ent­ly unclear. In the worst case, fur­ther hou­ses with up to 41 homes will have to be remo­ved, as repor­ted by Sval­bard­pos­ten. This con­cerns hou­ses clo­se to Suk­ker­top­pen in Way 228.

Even though the result – demo­li­ti­on or not – is curr­ent­ly uncer­tain, one thing is for sure: the housing mar­ket in Lon­gye­ar­by­en will beco­me even more dif­fi­cult.

Residential houses, and avalanche barriers on Sukkertoppen

Resi­den­ti­al hou­ses, and ava­lan­che bar­riers on Suk­ker­top­pen.

Airbnb

Ano­ther fac­tor which has cau­sed public deba­te over years is the short-term ren­tal plat­form AirbnB. It is no secret that a num­ber of homes in Lon­gye­ar­by­en are ren­ted out by their respec­ti­ve owners on short-term basis via Airbnb to tou­rists and not on long-term con­tracts to peo­p­le who want to live in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The actu­al num­ber of homes that are lost this way for the housing mar­ket is not exact­ly known, but it is con­side­red signi­fi­cant. When Sval­bard­pos­ten recent­ly rese­ar­ched the issue, 36 homes in Lon­gye­ar­by­en were offe­red on Airbnb.

More exact num­bers are curr­ent­ly not available, so the com­mu­ni­ty (Lokals­ty­re) has orde­red a report from a spe­cia­li­sed com­pa­ny to get more infor­ma­ti­on about the influence of Airbnb on the local housing mar­ket. Depen­ding on the result, the com­mu­ni­ty could then con­sider limi­ta­ti­ons.

Airbnb is in the cent­re of public dis­cus­sions lin­ked to the housing mar­ket in many places in the world, but Lon­gye­ar­by­en may be more dif­fi­cult than other towns: it is a small place with a small num­ber of hou­ses, whe­re every loss makes a dif­fe­rence. The­re are many tou­rists with a lot of money, dis­tort­ing the small and tight local housing mar­ket. Third­ly, you can not just move, sett­le down in the next vil­la­ge and com­mu­te.

One thing is for sure: it is curr­ent­ly almost impos­si­ble to find a home in Lon­gyear­ben for smal­ler inco­mes.

Two per­sons dead in moun­tain acci­dent in Horn­sund

Two per­sons died during a moun­tain hike in Horn­sund. They were a woman and a man who belon­ged to the crew of the Polish rese­arch sta­ti­on in Horn­sund. They had set out for a pri­va­te tour on Fri­day but did not return until the agreed time on Sun­day mor­ning, so the remai­ning sta­ti­on crew star­ted a search.

Map of Hornsund showing the research station and the mountain Kamkrona

Map of Horn­sund show­ing the rese­arch sta­ti­on and the moun­tain Kam­kro­na (acci­dent site). © topo­gra­phic base: Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te.

They had ascen­ded the moun­tain Kam­kro­na, which is part of Sofie­kam­men, a long, steep ridge on the west side of Bur­ger­buk­ta. Kam­kro­na is about 8 km east of the rese­arch sta­ti­on and 770 met­res high, the east side of the moun­tain is very steep.

Two victims of mountain accident in Hornsund

The moun­tain ridge Sofie­kam­men on the west side of Bur­ger­buk­ta in Horn­sund. Kam­kro­na is a peak appro­xi­m­ate­ly in the midd­le.

Accor­ding to a press release by the Sys­sel­man­nen the two vic­tims died during a fall of seve­ral hundred met­res in an ava­lan­che. No fur­ther details are public so far. The vic­tims were reco­ver­ed by SAR forces of the Sys­sel­man­nen and brought to Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Update: Accor­ding to Sval­bard­pos­ten, Sys­sel­man­nen poli­ce offi­cer Anders Hau­ge­rud told the Nor­we­gi­an news agen­cy NTB that the two appear to have step­ped out on an over­han­ging snow bank on the moun­tain top. This was later con­firm­ed.

As the fami­lies are infor­med, the names of the two decea­sed have been offi­ci­al­ly released. They were Anna Gór­s­ka and Mich­al Sawi­cki. Both had been working at the sta­ti­on, Anna as meteo­ro­lo­gist and Mich­al as geo­phy­si­cist.

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