Monday, March 7, 2011

Vessel BERSERK and Vikings lost in Antarctica while violating treaty

A widely criticised odyssey to the South Pole has gone tragically wrong as three ‘Vikings’ are presumed to have lost their lives.
The party of five, made up of four Norwegians and one Briton, were marking the centennial of fellow Norwegian Roald Amundsen becoming the first explorer to reach the South Pole.
In a departure from traditional Viking methods, they commandeered quad bikes in Auckland so skipper Jarle Andhoy and his 18-year-old companion could drive the 1600-kilometre journey. This reportedly overloaded their vessel, Berserk, making it unstable.
After dropping two men on the ice, the three remaining crew members continued to man Berserk. There has been no sign of them since February 22, when they used their emergency beacon during one of the worst storms in 20 years.
A nearby New Zealand Navy vessel began a search and rescue operation, which failed to find them. Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin, who has experience in hunting Norwegians of the whaling kind, helped search in the 8 metre swells and 182 kilometre per hour winds.
It is assumed that Berserk has sunk, as beacon transmissions ended several hours after activation.
Andhoy and his young companion aborted their expedition across melting ice and barely managed to catch the last flight out for the summer.
According to Scott Base Manager, Troy Beaumont, the expedition violated every one of the treaties set forth regarding travel to the Antarctic, including not gaining permission from Norwegian or New Zealand authorities.
The ‘Vikings’ had been warned of the imminent bad weather after an encounter with the New Zealand navy at Back Door Bay. Cigars were shared.
Andhoy, a celebrity in Norway, is known for undertaking controversial adventures. While on a voyage following the path of a Viking chief, he was fined for “trying to talk to the polar bears”.

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