lanceoutofice

LANCE LIBERATED: Børge Ousland and Mike Horn finally on way to Longyearbyen after ‘rescue’ ship stuck for two weeks in sea ice breaks free

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The dramatic “not a rescue” retrieval of polar explorers Børge Ousland and Mike Horn may finally be nearing an end as the Lance research ship has freed itself from the sea ice north of Svalbard, where it was stuck for two weeks after the pickup of the men itself was long delayed by ice blockage.

The Lance freed itself at about 1 a.m. Friday and is now heading toward Longyearbyen, a journey expected to take at least a day because of additional ice in the vicinity, Lars Ebbesen, the expedition’s leader, told NRK. The ship, for instance, got stuck again only hours after freeing itself, but broke loose again in a relatively short period of time.

“It’s been an incredibly exciting night,” he said. “It has been absolutely crazy, says Expedition Leader Lars Ebbesen. “There is a completely electric mood on the ship right now. There is both cheering and crying.”

Horn and Ousland set out from the ice north of Alaska in late September, intending to ski over the North Pole and reach a ship at the ice edge north of Svalbard and arrive in Longyearbyen in mid-November. But difficulties during the last stretch of the trip left them frostbitten and dangerously low on food, and in a decision criticized by some due to the resources involved, opted for a chartered “non-emergency” pickup by the Lance instead of an official rescue by one of The Governor of Svalbard’s rescue helicopter.

While the struggles to reach the men were published as a real-time drama by Norwegian media, the hardships didn’t end when Horn and Ousland finally boarded the ship after they were down to their last day of food. The Lance became stuck in the ice and on Dec. 20 three people were taken off the ship by helicopter, one for medical reasons. There are now 18 men and a woman on the ship.

 

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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bear121619 Previous post POLAR BEAR IN DOWNTOWN LONGYEARBYEN: Bear spotted between Kroa and Svalbardbutikken on Thursday morning before officials chase it out of town
lancelongyearbyen Next post LANCE IN AND OUT OF LONGYEARBYEN: Ship carrying Børge Ousland and Mike Horn finally arrives after weeks of delays in sea ice, then departs from Tromsø less than an hour later