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Stranded Luxury Cruise Ship Freed in Greenland

MV Ocean Explorer Successfully Pulled Free After Running Aground
Ocean Explorer Successfully Pulled Free After Running Aground

The ship had run aground with 206 passengers on board and was stuck for three days before this successful operation.

The vessel was freed with the assistance of a fisheries research vessel belonging to the Greenland government, named Tarajoq. The operation took place during high tide, utilizing a combination of the Tarajoq’s pulling power and the Ocean Explorer’s own propulsion.

Fortunately, there were no injuries to passengers or crew, no environmental pollution, and no damage to the ship’s hull reported during the incident. The vessel and passengers will now be moved to a port where the extent of the ship’s bottom damages can be assessed, and passengers can be flown back to their respective destinations.

The MV Ocean Explorer, which is registered in the Bahamas, had 90 Australians on board, along with passengers from New Zealand, South Korea, Britain, and the United States. The ship features a unique inverted bow design, 77 cabins, 151 passenger beds, 99 crew beds, and several restaurants.

In a related development, the ship’s operator, Aurora Expeditions, confirmed that at least three passengers onboard have contracted COVID-19. These passengers are in isolation, receiving medical care, and are reportedly doing well. The rest of the passengers were described as “safe and healthy.”

The MV Ocean Explorer was on a journey that began on September 2 in Kirkenes, Norway, and was originally scheduled to return to Bergen, Norway, on September 22.

The Danish Maritime Authority has requested a police investigation in Greenland to determine the cause of the ship running aground and whether any laws were violated. At this time, no charges have been filed or arrests made.

This incident served as a reminder of the challenges and uncertainties faced by the travel industry, including the impact of the ongoing pandemic on cruise ships and the response to emergency situations.

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