Fishing vessel will try to free cruise ship in Greenland that ran aground with 206 people

Fishing vessel will try to free cruise ship in Greenland that ran aground with 206 people

Author of the article:

Associated Press

Associated Press

Jan M. Olsen

Published Sep 13, 2023  •  Last updated 16 hours ago  •  3 minute read

A view of the Ocean Explorer, a Bahamas-flagged cruise ship with 206 passengers and crew, which has run aground in northwestern Greenland, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023.
A view of the Ocean Explorer, a Bahamas-flagged cruise ship with 206 passengers and crew, which has run aground in northwestern Greenland, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023. Photo by SIRIUS /Joint Arctic Command via AP

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A fishing vessel owned by Greenland’s government will attempt to use a high tide to pull free a Bahamas-flagged luxury cruise ship carrying 206 people that ran aground in the world’s northernmost national park, authorities said.

Advertisement 2

Toronto Sun

THIS CONTENT IS RESERVED FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY

Subscribe now to read the latest news in your city and across Canada.

  • Unlimited online access to articles from across Canada with one account.
  • Get exclusive access to the Toronto Sun ePaper, an electronic replica of the print edition that you can share, download and comment on.
  • Enjoy insights and behind-the-scenes analysis from our award-winning journalists.
  • Support local journalists and the next generation of journalists.
  • Daily puzzles including the New York Times Crossword.

SUBSCRIBE TO UNLOCK MORE ARTICLES

Subscribe now to read the latest news in your city and across Canada.

  • Unlimited online access to articles from across Canada with one account.
  • Get exclusive access to the Toronto Sun ePaper, an electronic replica of the print edition that you can share, download and comment on.
  • Enjoy insights and behind-the-scenes analysis from our award-winning journalists.
  • Support local journalists and the next generation of journalists.
  • Daily puzzles including the New York Times Crossword.

REGISTER TO UNLOCK MORE ARTICLES

Create an account or sign in to continue with your reading experience.

  • Access articles from across Canada with one account.
  • Share your thoughts and join the conversation in the comments.
  • Enjoy additional articles per month.
  • Get email updates from your favourite authors.

Capt. Flemming Madsen of the Danish Joint Arctic Command told The Associated Press that the passengers and crew on the ship stranded in northwestern Greenland were doing fine and ”all I can say is that they got a lifetime experience.”

Article content

The scientific fishing vessel was scheduled to arrive later Wednesday and would attempt when the conditions were right to pull the 104.4-metre- (343-foot) long and 18-metre- (60-foot) wide MV Ocean Explorer free.

The cruise ship ran aground Monday in Alpefjord in the Northeast Greenland National Park, which is known for icebergs and the musk oxen that roam the coast. The crew made two failed attempts to get the ship to float free on its own during high tide.

A view of the Ocean Explorer, a Bahamas-flagged Norwegian cruise ship with 206 passengers and crew, which has run aground in northwestern Greenland, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023.
A view of the Ocean Explorer, a Bahamas-flagged cruise ship with 206 passengers and crew, which has run aground in northwestern Greenland, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023. Photo by SIRIUS /Joint Arctic Command via AP

In a statement, Australia-based Aurora Expeditions, which operates the ship, said the passengers and crew members were safe and well and that there was “no immediate danger to themselves, the vessel, or the surrounding environment.”

Your noon-hour look at what’s happening in Toronto and beyond.

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails or any newsletter. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

Article content

Advertisement 3

“We are actively engaged in efforts to free the MV Ocean Explorer from its grounding. Our foremost commitment is to ensure the vessel’s recovery without compromising safety,” the statement said.

Located across from the ice sheet that covers the world’s largest island, Alpefjord sits in a remote corner of Greenland, some 240 kilometres away from the closest settlement, Ittoqqortoormiit, which itself is nearly 1,400 kilometres from the country’s capital, Nuuk.

Dozens of cruise ships sail along Greenland’s coast every year so passengers can admire the picturesque mountainous landscape with fjords, the waterways packed with icebergs of different sizes and glaciers jutting out into the sea.

Madsen, of Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command, said the passengers on the Ocean Explorer were “a mix” of tourists from Australia, New Zealand, Britain, the United States and South Korea. Greenland is a semi-independent territory that is part of the Danish realm, as are the Faeroe Islands.

Advertisement 4

Article content

The people onboard “are in a difficult situation, but given the circumstances, the atmosphere on the ship is good, and everyone on board is doing well. There are no signs that the ship was seriously damaged by the grounding,” the Joint Arctic Command said Wednesday.

The Ocean Explorer was built in 2021 and is owned by Copenhagen SunStone Ships, which is part of Denmark’s SunStone Group. It has an inverted bow, shaped like the one on a submarine. It has 77 cabins, 151 passenger beds and 99 beds for crew, and several restaurants, according to the Sunstone Group website.

The Joint Arctic Command said there were other ships in the vicinity of the stranded cruise liner and “if the need arises, personnel from the Sirius Dog Sled Patrol can be at the accident site within an hour and a half.”.

Advertisement 5

On Tuesday, members of the Sirius Dog Sled Patrol, a Danish naval unit that conducts long-range reconnaissance and enforces Danish sovereignty in the Arctic wilderness, visited the passengers and explained the situation, “which calmed them down as some were anxious,” Madsen, who was the on-duty officer for the Joint Arctic Command, said.

The command, which was coordinating the operation to free the cruise ship, said the nearest Danish navy ship was about 1,200 nautical miles (more than 2,000 kilometre) away. It was heading to the site and could be expected to reach the grounded ship as soon as Friday.

The primary mission of the Joint Arctic Command is to ensure Danish sovereignty by monitoring the area around the Faeroe Islands and Greenland, including the Arctic Ocean in the north.

Article content

Read More

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required