BREAKING: 14 trapped aboard listing fishing trawler trapped in northern Svalbard; rescue underway


A fishing vessel with 14 people aboard is stranded and listing in northern Svalbard, with rescue helicopters and other rescue personnel deployed to the scene at about 3 p.m. Friday, although the vessel does not appear to be in danger of sinking, according to  The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre of Northern Norway.

“We were told at 1:20 p.m. that a fishing boat that sent out an emergency signal,” Tore Wangsfjord, an agency official, told NRK. “It is located north of Hinlopenstredet. We are somewhat uncertain about the situation right now. We have sent out two rescue helicopters from Longyearbyen.”

The straight is located between the northeast corner of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. The first helicopters arrived at the scene shortly after 3 p.m. and the second about 20 minutes later.

The 47.6-meter-long Northguider, a trawler owned by the Norwegian shipping company Opilio AS that is licensed to catch crab and shrimp, is listing about 20 degrees, but drifted to shore and is now lodged against the ice. Arne Birkelanda, the company’s administrative director, told Sysla  “I talked to everyone on board a little while ago. It is all going well with everyone under the circumstances.”

Temperatures in the vicinity are about minus 20 to minus 25 degrees Celsius.

This story will be updated.