Grieg Seafood staff save tourists at sea

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Two Russian anglers were rescued Saturday afternoon, after the motor on their new boat cut out in stormy winter weather about 55 kilometres south of the North Cape in Porsangfjorden, newspaper iFinnmark has reported.

The Norwegian Rescue Coordination Centre scrambled a coast guard Sea King helicopter based at Lakselv, a Coast Guard cutter and whatever vessels might be navigating the fjord. The Russians, meanwhile, were drifting in driving snow, strong winds and high seas.

The tourists had made contact with local search-and-rescue coordinators on their Russian mobile phones, and the Centre scrambled a helicopter and cutter.

“They had no radio and no chance at geo-positioning,” the Rescue Coordination Centre’s, Tor-Eirik Torkildsen, was quoted as saying about the anglers’ predicament.

Dag Rune Lind

Meanwhile, a Norwegian coastal radio station managed to contact a Grieg Seafoods workboat. Onboard the Jens were Dag Rune Lind and Kenneth Nikolaisen, and they set a course for the foundering pleasure craft.

“They through a tow line to us. The weather was too rough to bring them onboard, so we towed them to land while they were onboard,” Lind told iFinnmark.

Lind said he doubted the rescue cutter would have made it out in time: “They struck out toward open sea. It would not have ended well. A half-hour more and it would have gone badly. All they had were life vests and with the sea at 1.8 degrees (Celsius), they would not have survived for very many minutes,” Lind said.

Later, Lind told SalmonBusiness that it was the first time he had taken part in a rescue operation.