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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Three missing after fatal fishing trip

One man was found drowned and three of his companions were still missing on Monday after their fishing trip in a small boat on a fjord in Hordaland County ended in tragedy. An extensive search for the three missing men was called off Sunday night.

The four men were all from Poland, and reportedly in Norway in search of work. They were staying in a small cabin at Osvågen in Hordaland on the west coast, and set off in its small motorboat to go fishing Friday night.

The boat was found empty and drifting along the shore of the Etnefjord Saturday morning, with its outboard engine lying on the seabed with a fishing net tangled in its propeller. Newspaper Bergens Tidende reported that a Sea King search and rescue helicopter found the body of a 28-year-old man in the water shortly thereafter.

A major search was launched Saturday and lasted all day, also through Sunday, but there was no sign of the three other men and all are now presumed dead. Two jackets confirmed to belong to two of the men were spotted on Sunday, operations leader Svein Roald Vikse of the Haugaland and Sunnhordland Police District told news bureau NTB.

Jan Hagen, who helped run the cabin complex where the Polish men were staying, claimed there had been no trouble with the boat engines before and stressed that the boat was certified to carry five persons. They reportedly had their own fishing equipment but were not wearing lifevests. Another resident of the cabin complex, Tom Smedgård, told Bergens Tidende there had been no signs of partying before the men went fishing.

Local maritime director Olav Akselsen said the fatal accident highlights the potential danger for foreign visitors unfamiliar with boating on Norway’s fjords, where the water can suddenly get rough and the weather can change quickly. A crisis team was sent to the area to assist other companions of the dead and missing men.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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