All three on board Mowi work boat rescued after dramatic sinking

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No time for immersion suits.

On Sunday morning, “Stolt Pegasus”, a workboat belonging to Mowi, suddenly began to take on water. The boat started to go down off the coast of Gildeskål, Northern Norway.

A mayday call was sent out at 11.45. But, according to Marielle Bakkelund at the Main Rescue Center for Northern Norway, the sinking happened so quickly that the three crew aboard did not have time to put on their immersion suits, and had to jump into the sea wearing just their life jackets.

Sea-King rescue helicopters were despatched to search the area.

With the water temperature estimated at about 10C, survival time at this time of year would be a maximum of two hours. The clock was ticking.

Mayday with no position
Before the helicopters could arriver however, nearby boats also picked up on the distress call.

“We were on a shuttle assignment at Arnøy Brygge, so it was just dumb luck that I had little power on the batteries. That’s why I started the engine and immediately the power on VHF came up and we immediately heard a mayday,” said Knut Val who runs Arctic Cruise, a company operating charter and shuttle boat services in the area.

Knut Val and Silje Rokkan on board the company’s shuttle boat. Footer: Private

“I guess it may have taken 12-13 minutes before we got them on board. I was focusing so much on finding them that the clock didn’t mean much. The three were very cold so I am very happy that we reacted as we did, and left immediately. It was mayday with no position or anything. One of those rescued said there was no time for anything, and that they only had to jump into the sea right away,” Knut Val told SalmonBusiness.

The rescue boat “Odd Fellow” also participated in the action.

Skipper Knut Even Rislaa said that it was pretty dramatic. “Fortunately, they were picked up fairly quickly by vessels that arrived quickly at the site. That is what is so good that there are so many resources that are available at sea all the time.”

Very cold
The work boat “Stolt Pegasus” was commissioned by Mowi at the locality Nordfugløy in Gildeskål. Communications manager Eivind Nævdal-Bolstad confirmed that it was a boat commissioned by Mowi that on Sunday morning came into great difficulty south of Sandhornøy.

“Given the conditions, our employees who were involved are doing well. The boat has also come to the quay and we are now working with the rescue services to clarify what was the cause of the situation,” Eivind Nævdal-Bolstad said.

The three are said to have been very cold after their stay at sea, but are apparently in good condition.

Eivind Nævdal-Bolstad. PHOTO: Mowi