rescue021922

12 SNOWMOBILERS RESCUED FROM SEA ICE NEAR MOHNBUKTA: Tour group stranded on east coast due to surface water; all unharmed after rescue by governor’s helicopter

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Photo of student researchers snowmobiling at Mohnbukta prior to this weekend by Richard Hann/UNIS

A group of 10 snowmobilers plus two Longyearbyen residents trying to help them were recused by helicopter after becoming stranded on the sea ice along the east coast of Svalbard near Mohnbukta due to large amounts of surface water, The Governor of Svalbard announced Saturday.

Officials with the governor’s office noted such areas can look deceptively safe for travel, but driving on the ice should be avoided under such conditions.

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The east coast of Svalbard that includes Mohnbukta, where a group of tourists and residents were rescued Saturday, is a popular area for spring snowmobiling. Map by the Norwegian Polar Institute.

The area, about a two-hour drive east of Longyearbyen, is popular for spring snowmobiling due to the large number of polar bears usually visible at this time of year.

“It looks like there are good driving conditions on the sea ice, but there is a lot of surface water and it is easy to get stuck,” Police Chief Lt. Ragnar Schjølset said in a prepared statement.

The call for help originated with the group of 10 residents and visitors who got stuck in the watter-logged ice during a snowmobile tour, according to the governor’s office.

“The other two are permanent residents who tried to assist the scooter entourage that had got stuck,” the statement notes.

The people were rescued by helicopter, with all of the snowmobiles left behind for retrieval later. All of those rescued were examined at and released from Longyearbyen Hospital, having suffered no serious ailments from their two to three hours of waiting during the rescue.

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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