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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Chile halts controversial captain

Jarle Andhøy, skipper of two highly controversial expeditions to the Antarctic, remained in Chilean custody on Monday after naval vessels stopped his sailboat in Chilean waters and arrested both Andhøy and his crew.

Andhøy, who’s already been in trouble with Norwegian and New Zealand authorities for failing to get permission for his most recent trip into the Antarctic, claimed he didn’t know why his vessel was ordered into a Chilean naval base at Puerto Williams. Speculation rose that the Chilean navy was acting on behalf of authorities in New Zealand.

Commander Ricardo Velasques told newspaper Aftenposten, however, that Andhøy’s sailboat Nilaya was arrested because the skipper hadn’t informed Chilean authorities as he should have when sailing into Chilean waters. Velasques said that when the Chilean navy contacted the vessel, Andhøy also gave a “false name” for the boat.

Velasques said the arrest was made at the initiative of Chilean authorities and that he knew of no requests from New Zealand authorities. He said Andhøy’s boat would be inspected and, if found to meet Chilean requirements, would be allowed to sail again.

Andhøy has been the target of strong criticism after an expedition last year when his earlier boat, Berserk, disappeared along with three crew members, now presumed dead. Andhøy himself and another young crew member had gone ashore in an attempt to reach the South Pole, and Andhøy was accused of defying insurance regulations, setting off a dangerous search and rescue mission and failing to abide by a series of other regulations tied to Antarctic expeditions. His current trip was allegedly made in an effort to find out what happened to the Berserk.

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