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Foynøya 1

The end of the world! Foynøya is a small, rocky island. Named after the Nor­we­gi­an wha­ling pio­neer Svend Foyn, it would hard­ly be known to anyo­ne but a few Sval­bard freaks if the air­ship Ita­lia of Umber­to Nobi­le had not famously cra­s­hed in the area on 25 May 1928. Six men dis­ap­peared tog­e­ther with a part of the air­ship that drifted away pro­ba­b­ly cra­s­hed a bit later (the sur­vi­vors saw smo­ke in that direc­tion). One man died on the main crash site. The remai­ning nine men were stuck on the ice. Among­st them was Nobi­le, who had bro­ken a leg.

The rest, inclu­ding their res­cue by the Rus­si­an ice­brea­k­er Kras­sin, is histo­ry. Many crews and vol­un­teers tried to help and find the miss­ing Ita­lia crew. They went by boat, ship or ice­brea­k­er, others on ski and with dog sled­ges. Among­st the search par­ties were a team of two men, the Dutch­man Josef („Sjef“) van Don­gen and the Ita­li­an Gen­na­ro Sora. They stran­ded on Foynøya on 04 July 1928 and had to spend nine days on that deso­la­te island until they were res­cued on 13 July by a Swe­dish aero­pla­ne.

Foynøya 2

Foynøya is an utter­ly deso­la­te and remo­te small island. It is hard to land on the rocky shore­li­ne, which is not shel­te­red at all and more often than not the­re is a polar bear lur­king around. The­re is not much bey­ond gra­ni­te rocks and some patches with mos­ses and lichens and some Black guil­l­emots bree­ding on litt­le cliffs.



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last modification: 2019-04-14 · copyright: Rolf Stange