Incident with damaged UNIS vessel

Incident with damaged UNIS vessel

Top image: Crew from the coast guard ship KV Svalbard board the damaged UNIS vessel yesterday afternoon. Photo: The Norwegian Coast Guard/KV Svalbard.

On Friday 27 January a UNIS vessel had motor malfunction during a transportation assignment between Barentsburg and Longyearbyen. On board were a group of 12 UNIS students and staff. The coast guard ship KV Svalbard arrived within two hours to assist and students and staff were transported by KV Svalbard to Longyearbyen. No one were hurt during the incident, which will be investigated thoroughly by UNIS in the coming days.

28 January 2017
Press release from The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS).

On Friday 27 January a polarcirkel boat, UNIS Polaris, had a motor malfunction during a transportation assignment between Barentsburg and Longyearbyen. On board were a group from the UNIS course AT-324/824, consisting of eight students, two field assistants, the course leader and the captain.

Outside Colesbukta (Coles Bay, between Barentsburg and Longyearbyen), the vessel started taking in water, with the subsequent effect that the vessel’s motors malfunctioned. The captain alerted the Governor’s office, and the coast guard ship KV Svalbard was dispatched to the disabled vessel.

Within two hours the coast guard was on site to assist. Students and staff were taken aboard KV Svalbard and transported to Longyearbyen, where they arrived around 9 pm Friday night. The UNIS vessel was subsequently towed by the coast guard work boats and is now in Longyearbyen.

Despite the cold, no one was hurt during the incident, and all students and staff involved are well and healthy.

– The safety of our students and staff is paramount for UNIS and we are grateful that no one came to harm during this serious incident, says UNIS director Harald Ellingsen. – We are also grateful for the assistance from the Norwegian Coast Guard, he says.

– This is a serious incident and UNIS will investigate the matter thoroughly in the coming days to determine the cause of the breakdown and what can be done to prevent such situations in the future, Ellingsen says.

 

Media contact:
Information manager Eva Therese Jenssen, +47 975 26 931.

 

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