Artic expedition vessel Cape Farewell saved by Iridium OpenPort

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


The Iridium OpenPort, the world’s only truly global maritime satellite communications service, provided an emergency connection for crewmembers participating in the Cape Farewell project’s 9th Art & Science Expedition. The crewmembers narrowly escaped disaster after becoming trapped in ice around Svalbard, Norway in the Arctic Ocean. Cape Farewell brings together an eclectic mix of marine scientists and artists from around the world, for a 22-day Arctic voyage to collaborate and engage in the climate debate.

For nearly 40 minutes, and with a polar bear only 20 meters away, the Cape Farewell expedition vessel, The Noordelicht, was completely locked in ice in shallow waters along the Arctic Ocean. Drifted by the wind and ice, the ship was in danger of crashing onto rocks when the captain instructed everyone onboard to pack their bare essentials and prepare for rescue. Using the Iridium OpenPort system onboard, the Norwegian Coast Guard was notified of the ship’s position and a helicopter was dispatched for rescue. Fortunately, before rescue operations were underway, the ice shifted, allowing the ship to reach open water. The dispatched rescue helicopter did a low fly-by assuring the vessel was safe and no rescue was needed.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 September 2010 )