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Friday, June 21, 2024

Probe begins into ill-fated polar expedition

Police in Tromsø have started their investigation into the disappearance of the Norwegian sailboat Berserk, which sent out a distress signal off Antarctica in February. It’s believed the vessel sank in a severe storm, and that its three crew members were killed.

The leader of the expedition, Jarle Andhøy, had left the vessel with an 18-year-old boy on a trek to the South Pole, so were not on board the Berserk when it disappeared. They later were flown to New Zealand, where they faced strong criticism from local officials who claimed Andhøy’s expedition was poorly prepared, took unnecessary risks, had not applied for permission to enter the protected seas off Antarctica and had not arranged coverage for eventual search and rescue missions.

The Norwegian Polar Institute ended up filing charges against Andhøy, for violating regulations applying to Antarctic expeditions. Police have obtained documentation from authorities in New Zealand and will soon call those involved in for questioning.

Andhøy, who has led several expeditions earlier, defends his preparations and has said that all who take part in such adventures are aware of the risks. He also has disputed the regulations, claiming the area is part of nature and open for all.

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