Category Archives: Svalbard

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: Body of helicopter largely intact on seabed, divers say; aircraft scheduled to be raised Thursday


A Russian helicopter that crashed into the sea near Barentsburg last week with eight people aboard appears to be largely intact as a vessel from the mainland is scheduled to arrive Thursday to raise it from the seabed, according to officials.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: Body of one of the eight occupants found 130 meters from helicopter wreckage


The body of one of eight people aboard a helicopter that crashed into the sea near Barentsburg was found late Monday about a 130 meters from the wreckage of the aircraft, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Lots of fire, but no heat? Hundreds of torch-carrying protesters object to mine shutdowns, but trade minister stands by proposal


The government’s spin is the mines may be closing permanently, but there will be significantly more jobs locally during the shutdown period as Longyearbyen attempts to transition its economy. It doesn’t appear many locals are buying the argument.

ALERT: Lights removed from giant Santa’s mailbox, which is scheduled to be taken down Nov. 20 after lengthy permit dispute


A nearly 10-meter-high Santa’s mailbox standing at Tynset since December of 2013, but which the city ordered removed a year ago due to lack of a proper permit, has its lights removed Monday and is scheduled to be taken down starting Nov. 20, according to its owner and a city attorney.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: Photo of helicopter on seabed released, recovery of aircraft by ship likely Wednesday or Thursday


The first photo of a Russian helicopter that crashed Thursday near Barentsburg and was discovered 209 meters beneath the surface of the sea was released by officials Sunday night, with Norwegian and Russian officials continuing their investigation into the cause of the crash and search for the bodies of the eight people aboard Monday.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: Russians helping search sea and shore for helicopter debris and passengers; vessel to retrieve aircraft from seabed to arrive Wednesday


About 40 Russians who arrived aboard a plane at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday quickly went to work with Norwegian officials to search for debris and the presumed dead passengers from a helicopter that crashed Thursday near Barentsburg with eight aboard. But the recovery operation of the helicopter found on the seabed Sunday morning will likely take at least several days, with a ship capable of raising the aircraft scheduled to arrive in Longyearbyen on Wednesday.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: Wreckage of helicopter found on seabed about two kilometers from heliport; all eight Russians aboard presumed dead


A Russian helicopter carrying eight people that crashed into the sea Thursday afternoon was found at about 6:20 a.m. Sunday about two kilometers northeast of the Barentsburg heliport at Heerodden following a search by a remote-controlled submarine , according to The Governor of Svalbard. All aboard are presumed dead.

‘May take a few days’: Search by military sub for missing helicopter near Barentsburg may take time due to weather, size of area


A military remote-controlled submarine brought to the site near Barentsburg where a Russian helicopter carrying eight people may have crashed Thursday may need days to fully search the seabed to determine if the aircraft is there, according to officials.

‘If a day passed without events, it was in vain’: A 14-year-old’s diary about growing up in Barentsburg (part two in a series)


(Editor’s note: This is the second of what was originally a two-part series by Anna Demkovich, 14, about moving to and growing up in Barentsburg. She has since agreed to provide two additional articles about her experiences that will be published in the next two issues. Her first article about moving from a war-torn town in the Ukraine to Svalbard was published in the previous issue of Icepeople.)


When you hear the word “north” you imagine that polar bears are everywhere. Sleds with reindeer and dogs replacing public transport. People dressed in a bunch of clothes so that they look like cabbages. Harsh snowstorms causing huge snowstorms. Icebergs protruding from the water. Harsh, like the Arctic winter, the polar explorers.

And it is. Almost.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE (5:20 P.M. FRIDAY): Coast Guard and governor prepare for second night of searches; Russian plane arrives as Danish one departs


Darkness descended on Barentsburg late Friday afternoon after several hours of searching the sea near the settlement by twilight without success for a helicopter that crashed with eight people aboard a day earlier. Rescue ships from the Svalbard governor’s office and Norwegian Coast Guard are preparing for a second night of what is still officially classified as a search-and-rescue mission.