29 February, 2024
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Cruise ship carrying 206 runs aground in Greenland


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A luxury cruise ship carrying 206 people has run aground in remote eastern Greenland with the nearest help by sea days away, the Danish military’s Joint Arctic Command says.

The Ocean Explorer ran aground on Monday in Alpefjord in a national park 1400km northeast of Greenland’s capital Nuuk, the JAC said in a statement.

There were no reports of injuries, JAC said.

“A cruise ship in trouble in the national park is obviously a worry. The nearest help is far away, our units are far away, and the weather can be very unfavourable,” JAC head of operations, Commander Brian Jensen, said in the statement.

“However, in this specific situation, we do not see any immediate danger to human life or the environment, which is reassuring,” he added.

A spokesperson for Australian cruise operator Aurora Expeditions said in an emailed statement everyone on board was safe and well.

The JAC said its nearest unit was an inspection vessel 1200 nautical miles away at the time of the incident, meaning it could reach the grounded ship by Friday morning local time at the earliest.

The Arctic command said it had asked a cruise ship located nearer to the Ocean Explorer to stay in the area so that it would be able to assist in case the situation changes.

Completed in 2021, the Ocean Explorer can accommodate up to 134 passengers and offers trips to “some of the most wild and remote destinations on the planet,” Aurora Expeditions said on its website.

The primary mission of the Joint Arctic Command is to ensure Danish sovereignty by monitoring the area around the Faeroe Islands and Greenland, two semi-independent territories that are part of the Danish realm.


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