Skipper on Berserk called home, yacht missing

Posted: Feb 24, 2011 07:52 am EST

Two men missing as part of a Norwegian Antarctic expedition have been found alive and well, and provided rescuers with new information that may help locate their three crew members missing since Tuesday 22 February, reports the Maritime New Zealand.

A rescue mission was launched after the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) picked up a signal from a distress beacon registered to the yacht Berserk about 5pm on Tuesday 22 February. The yachts position at that time was 18 nautical miles (33km) north of Scott Base, in the Ross Sea.

The Berserk is a 48ft (14m) steel hulled sailboat. It is understood there are three people on board, and that the vessel had dropped off the skipper Jarle Andhøy and a 18 year old crew member onto the ice shelf in Antarctica for the purpose of attempting to reach the South Pole. Four of the all male crew are understood to be from Norway, and a fifth from the United Kingdom. There has been no communication from the vessel, and its distress beacon is no longer transmitting.

However, at about 1pm today (NZDT), contact was made via satellite phone with the two men from the ground party, who gave their position as about 100 miles from Scott Base. Both are alive and well. They also provided rescuers with information about the possible location of their crewmates and the missing vessel, which is still be checked by RCCNZ.
A further update will be provided once more information becomes available.

Two vessels and a helicopter are still involved in the search for the boat.

About charter yacht Berserk
Skipper Jarle Andhøy has been to Antarctica before, then in a 27-foot sailing boat. He makes TV shows and writes books about his trips. A high profile and controversial sailor, Andhøy was fined and sentenced in Norway for trying to talk to the Polar Bears on Svalbard. Accused of smuggling a crew member who had been sent out of the country on charges of being a Hells Angel, on his last trip through the Northwest Passage Canadian authorities cuffed Jarle Andhøy and flew him back home to Norway.

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In February the Berserk was lost in the Ross Sea.
courtesy Jarle Andøy