A third attempt to rescue a luxury cruise ship after it ran aground in northwestern Greenland has failed.
The Ocean Explorer – which has 206 passengers on board – made contact with the seabed on Monday in Alpefjord, a national park 870 miles (1,400km) northeast of Greenland’s capital Nuuk, the Danish military’s Joint Arctic Command (JAC) said.
After two failed attempts to free the ship by floating it during high tide, a third attempt was made to pull it free by a fisheries research vessel.
But the JAC said the attempt was “not successful”.
The ship has 77 cabins and several restaurants. Pic: AP
Around 249 miles (240km) away from the nearest settlement, Ittoqqortoormiit, the “first priority” of the JAC is to get its larger inspection vessel, Knud Rasmussen, to the site, which is expected to happen on Friday evening.
‘Everyone’s in good spirits’
The Ocean Explorer, which is operated by Australia-based Aurora Expeditions, left the Norwegian port of Bronnoysund on 6 September, according to tracking data from MarineTraffic.com.
The ship has 77 cabins, 151 passenger beds and 99 beds for crew. There are also several restaurants.
Satellite image of stranded ship. Pic: Copernicus EU
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Some of those on board are from Australia, UK, New Zealand, US and South Korea, and were described by passengers Steven Fraser and Gina Hill as “a lot of wealthy older people”.
Tracking data of Ocean Explorer
The retired couple from Australia told the Sydney Morning Herald that “everyone’s in good spirits”.
“It’s a little bit frustrating, but we are in a beautiful part of the world,” Mr Fraser was quoted as saying.
Mr Fraser said he was one of a number of passengers who had tested positive for COVID, but there is a doctor on board.
Lisa, another passenger, told CNN that her biggest fear at the moment is running out of alcohol, but if the worst does happen, she has a back-up plan.
“I had swimming lessons before I came and I’m a good swimmer,” she said.
“So look out: I could be swimming back to Iceland.”
The nearest settlement is 149 miles away. Pic: AP
Members of the Sirius Dog Sled Patrol – a Danish naval unit that conducts long-range reconnaissance and enforces Danish sovereignty in the Arctic wilderness – were in the vicinity of the stranded ship.
They visited on Tuesday and reported that everyone on board was fine and no damage to the vessel had been reported.