Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of March 31, 2015


Questions about campers linger after polar bear attack
Numerous questions remain unanswered about a March 19 polar bear attack at a campsite that injured one man, especially regarding the group’s preparedness and actions after the attack, but The Governor of Svalbard said investigators are unlikely to finish their work until after Easter.

A tripwire alarm system failed to work properly, there was nobody standing guard when the bear attacked at about 5:30 a.m. and the group didn’t notify the governor’s office about the encounter until 50 minutes after it occurred. The two-year-old bear, observed and photographed by several people during the days before the attack, was described as healthy and unlikely to invade a campsite out of desperation for food.

Injured snowmobiler found unconscious in riverbed
A man seriously injured in a snowmobile accident Sunday night at Diabasodden is in stable condition at University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, according to officials. “We found him down in the riverbed, or a wind hole,” said Christian Svarstad, a police chief lieutenant for The Governor of Svalbard. “He was not conscious, but he was breathing and had a pulse.” The man was driving in the area alone and friends notified the governor’s office when he failed to return by 11 p.m. He was discovered during a helicopter search at 1:22 a.m. Conditions were described as about minus 10 degrees Celsius with strong winds, but the spot he was found at was somewhat sheltered from the elements. Details of his specific injuries were not released.

Man hospitalized after falling 10 meters from climbing wall
A man in his 30s who fell about 10 meters from the climbing wall inside Svalbardhallen on Friday night was flown to University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, according to The Governor of Svalbard. The cause of the incident remains under investigation, but it appears proper climbing gear was used and friction from a rope apparently slowed the rate of the man’s fall, said Ståle Nylund, a police chief lieutenant for the governor.