Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Sept. 6, 2016


City: Giant Santa’s mailbox must be removed by Sept. 30
A 9.3-meter-high red mailbox set up at Sjøområdet by Po Lin Lee just before Christmas in 2013 must be removed because a temporary permit allowing it will not be renewed, according to Longyearbyen city officials. The landmark, which the Hong Kong native paid 500,000 kroner to build had a two-year permit, with the city stating she would need to notify neighbors before an extension of the permit would be considered, which she failed to do. The removal of the giant box is being welcomed by local post office officials, who said many tourists deposited mail in it despite it not being an “official” mailbox, and it often took a long time for them to be removed and mailed to their intended recipients. Lee could not be reached for comment.

Missing man on sailboat found safe, faces questions
A man in his 20s who was reported missing while attempting a sailboat voyage from Tromsø to Svalbard was discovered safe Tuesday northwest of Sørøya in Finnmark, according to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre of Northern Norway. He departed Aug. 25 and was expected reach Longyearbyen by Aug. 31. A widespread search was conducted until he was located 11 days after his departure. Although officials said the man is not currently facing criminal charges, police are investigating the incidents. “We want to find out what happened during the voyage,” said Eirin Hansen Abuukar, operations leader for the West Finnmark police district. “It used a large amount public resources.”