NZ repairman joins South Pole expedition by accident
A repairman from New Zealand is currently headed for Antarctica on a yacht manned by a rebellious Norwegian sailor who hurriedly cast off unaware he was still on board.
The maritime mechanic was reportedly repairing an anchor belonging to the 52ft Nilaya at Auckland harbour, as the yacht quickly set sail while immigration officers attempted to serve deportation documents on the captain, Jarle Andhoy, 34.
Mr Andhoy and his three crew members are currently leading an unauthorised voyage into the Antarctic Ross Sea, in resistance to both the New Zealand and Norwegian governments. The skipper had made a previous trip to Antarctica nearly a year ago, which became disastrous when his boat Berserk went down in a heavy storm killing three men.
The Norwegian captain declared himself a “Viking”, announcing his plans to seek the wreckage of his sunken vessel, the Berserk, which he was using as a supply ship in an attempt to venture the South Pole with quad bikes.
Authorities in New Zealand are irate about his new voyage, citing their search and rescue operation in 2011 in which the yachtsman and his friend were airlifted to safety. Mr Andhoy has told NRK (Norway’s public broadcasting service) that bringing the unnamed mechanic on board was not in his plans, but resulted from his hectic exit from Auckland.
He called it a tricky situation since the New Zealand man was not carrying a passport or any papers with him. However, Mr Andhoy insisted that all was on schedule, adding that the atmosphere was good on board and that they were prepared for “what may befall us”.
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