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Monday, April 15, 2024

Adventurer fined in Antarctic tragedy

Police in Tromsø, northern Norway, have confirmed fining adventurer Jarle Andhøy after his so-called “Wild Vikings – The Berserk Expedition” went seriously wrong last winter. The expedition was found to have violated several Norwegian regulations on environmental protection in Antarctica. Three of the expedition participants disappeared and are presumed dead.

The expedition, led by Andhøy, visited Antarctica in mid-February. The Norwegian Polar Research Institute later reported Andhøy to police for failing to provide advance notice, failing to submit an environmental impact assessment and failing to mount adequate insurance. The Polar Institute also cited Andhøy over a fuel spill and unauthorized activity in specially protected areas, according to Tromsø police.

The fine was issued over the lack of advance notice, lack of insurance and lack of an environmental impact statement. Police said Andhøy had agreed to pay the fine although he refused to meet them for questioning. Police opted against filing charges over the alleged illegal activity in protected areas, citing lack of evidence, or the fuel spill, for lack of resources.

Andhøy went ashore on Antarctica in an effort to reach the South Pole, while his boat later disappeared with three expedition members on board. That set off a major and expensive search and rescue effort from New Zealand, where officials criticized Andhøy for being irresponsible. The search effort was unsuccessful, the boat was not found and all three men on board are presumed dead.

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