Norway’s historic passenger vessel Skibladner, billed as the world’s oldest paddle-wheel steamer still in operation, was undergoing an examination in its home port of Gjøvik on Monday, after grounding at Nessundet in Lake Mjøsa on Sunday.
All 72 passengers on board the vessel for one of Skibladner’s many scheduled summer sailings had to be evacuated but none was injured. The vessel, built in 1856 to carry passengers between Eidsvoll and Lillehammer, had to be pulled off its unexpected perch.
News bureau NTB reported that it took several hours to free the vessel but it then was able to sail under its own steam back to Gjøvik. “It’s an old boat and not so easy to maneuver,” said Jørn Akre of the Hedmark Police District. “We’ll have a chat with the captain sooner or later.”
Skibladner’s operators apologized for the inconvenience to Sunday’s passengers and could later report that it appeared the vessel had escaped any serious damage. No trips were scheduled on Monday and it was hoped the vessel could resume its scheduled sailings from Tuesday.