Still no sign of missing boat

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A 47-foot sailboat with two Norwegians and a South African on board remained missing in stormy and icy Antarctic waters on Friday. A helicopter search led to the discovery of a life raft from the sailboat, but there was no one on board.

The sailboat, named Berserk, sailed from Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand January 23, bound for Antarctica and an expedition to the South Pole. On board were five persons including Captain Jarle Andhøy and 18-year-old Samuel Massie, who had won the right to be included.

At first all five were believed missing after an emergency signal was sent out from the boat on February 22. It later was determined and Andhøy and Massie had gone ashore  on the ice near the South Pole and were safe.

That left Tom Gisle Bellika, age 36, from Alta and Oslo on board along with Robert Skaanes, age 34 from Trondheim, and Leonard Banks, age 32 of Cape Town, South Africa, reports Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). All are experienced sailors and have taken part in expeditions including Berserk’s tour through the Northwest Passage that was the subject of a program on NRK.

Hopes they’d be found alive were waning, given poor conditions in the area. Two ships and a helicopter taking part in the search were themselves threatened by storms.

Views and News staff