Foto: Sirius / Arktisk Kommando.

Foto: Sirius / Joint Arctic Command.

By Defense Command Denmark


On Monday afternoon, the cruise ship Ocean Explorer ran aground in Alpefjord, which is located in the national park in the northeast of Greenland, just over 600 km north of the Arctic Circle. Since then, the ship has unsuccessfully tried to free itself. Rescue vessels from Danish Defence has been dispatched to the scene, and in the meantime, the Joint Arctic Command, with the help of personnel from the Sirius Sled Patrol, has ensured that all 206 persons on board are safe.


Far from the beaten track

Arctic Command has also dispatched other forms of assistance to the cruise ship. Yesterday Tuesday "Luftgruppe Vest" flew over the cruise ship with a Challenger surveillance plane. Pictures of the ship were taken from the plane. The pictures can help assess the situation on site. The inspection vessel Knud Rasmussen has also been sent towards the cruise ship.


That the ship is far from the beaten track is illustrated by the fact that the inspection vessel Knud Rasmussen most likely will not arrive until Friday. The inspection vessel must first cover the 1,200 nautical miles - just over 2,200 km - from the place Knud Rasmussen was when the report of the grounding came in.


Foto: Sirius / Arktisk Kommando.

Foto: Sirius / Joint Arctic Command


The ship's grounding did not occur on rocks, but on sand and mud. The ship has tried to free itself several times at high tide - unfortunately without success. When the inspection vessel Knud Rasmussen arrives at the ship, the crew will assess the situation and plan the next course of action. One possibility among several is that Knud Rasmussen can try to pull the cruise ship free.


There are also other ships in the vicinity of the cruise ship that Joint Arctic Command may ask to assist. Joint Arctic Command has been in contact with another cruise ship which is in the vicinity of the Ocean Explorer. This ship has been asked to remain in the area to assist should the situation develop.


There are 206 passengers and crew members on board the ship. There is fortunately still no report that human life or the environment is in danger, and Joint Arctic Command is following the situation closely.


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