Friday, August 6, 2010

Svalbard kayakers attacked by Polar Bear

I was just researching the possibility of doing just this trip, as i had found out it had yet to be done.
the last failed attempt was in 2008 By Alon Ohad and Tim Starr my hopes arrose at the possibility of succesfully doing this trip in the coming years. Then I discovered a couple of norwegians where doing the trip this year and I was excited for them and a little sad at a lost opurtunity. Now i am a little weary of the prospect, however they say third times a charm!
Maybe 2012 i will give it a shot?

Here is the sad news of the second failed attempt on the "first kayak circumnavigating Svalbard Archipaligo, Norway".

Two Norwegians Sebastian Plur Nilssen, 22, and Ludvig Fjeld, 22, had a nightmare awakening on Svalbard Thursday. Plur Nilssen was dragged out of the tent by a Polar Bear. His expedition partner managed to shoot the bear.

The two Norwegians where on an expedition to circumnavigate the whole Svalbard archipelago in kayaks and started from Longyearbyen July 5. They where on the north coast of Nordaustlandet on Ekstremhuken when the attack happened midday Thursday July 29.

The Polar Bear went into the tent and dragged Plur Nilssen 40 meters along the beach before his friend managed to kill the bear.

Two hours after Sysselmannen, governor of Svalbard, got the report his Super Puma helicopter landed on the beach with a nurse on board.

The two kayakers were immediately flown back to Longyearbyen and Plur Nilsen was taken to hospital.
According to the latest reports his condition is stable but not life threatening. He has wounds on the head, neck and upper body.

According to Sysselmannen it is very seldom that a Polar Bear attacks tents. There are approximately 3000 Polar Bears on Svalbard.

The dream of circumnavigating Svalbard ended Thursday July 29th by a Polar Bear attack.
courtesy Arild Lyssand/Sysselmannen Svalbard
The two Norwegians used trip wires to scare of the Polar Bear, but it didn't work.
courtesy Arild Lyssand/Sysselmannen på Svalbard
Plur Nilssen beeing carried to to rescue and flown to the local hospital for surgery. He is out of danger.
courtesy Arild Lyssand/Sysselmannen på Svalbard
It was a male on 360 kilos that attacked the camp.
courtesy Per Andreassen/Sysselmannen Svalbard
The Polar Bear was shot dead 40 meters from the camp (to the right of the tent).
courtesy Arild Lyssand/Sysselmannen Svalbard

Article Translated by explorers web at

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