A cruise ship carrying 206 passengers and crew has run aground on a remote stretch of Greenland and could potentially be stuck for days waiting for the nearest ship to arrive to help.
The Ocean Explorer got into trouble on Monday in Alpefjord, a dramatic and rugged stretch of Northeast Greenland National Park, and has not been able to free itself, according to a statement from Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command (JAC).
“This means that the tide – which came during the day, local time – did not give the desired help to sail on,” a JAC statement said. There were no reported injuries or risk of damage to the environment as a result of the grounding.
Following the incident, the closest inspection vessel, the Knud Rasmussen, was disptached to assist, according to the statement, but faced a journey of 1,200 nautical miles (around 2,222 kilometers) to reach the cruise ship,
The earliest the vessel is expected to reach the Ocean Explorer is Friday morning local time, depending on weather.
“As soon as we realized that the Ocean Explorer could not get free on its own, we sent a ship towards the wreck,” Arctic Commander Brian Jensen said.
“As soon as possible, we will also fly over the site to get fresh images to help us assess the situation on site,” he continued.
The Arctic Command say they are in contact with relevant ships in the area that could help.
Jensen said the Ocean Explorer could still re-float on a high tide, but failing that, the Knud Rasmussen would assist.
“No matter what, the most important thing for us is that everyone is safe,” he said.
According to the statement, the Government of Greenland, the Danish Maritime Authority and the Danish Accident Investigation Board have been informed of the incident.