Ten British passengers have been taken to hospital after a boating accident off the icy Norwegian coast.
Some 24 passengers were enjoying a speedboat excursion at around 3.00pm (local time) on Thursday, February 16.
The boat collided with a fountain as it came back to shore near the town of Harstad, around 875 miles north of Norway’s capital.
A spokesman for the holiday company Inghams said: “Our local team in Harstad, Northern Norway, has advised they are assisting 10 guests who took a boat excursion as part of their ‘Arctic Fjord’ short break today.”
Responding to the incident, the Foreign Office has said: “We are in contact with the Norwegian authorities following an incident in Harstad. We are ready to support British people affected.”
Despite the severity of the incident, there have fortunately been no fatalities so far. The boat pilot suffered the brunt of the trauma and has been transferred to Tromso hospital to be treated for injuries that are deemed to be serious.
The tour leader and passengers are being treated for minor injuries at a local hospital in Harstad.
“Six guests and our tour leader are reported to have minor injuries. Of these six, four guests and our tour leader are staying overnight in Harstad hospital on a precautionary basis,” the Inghams spokesman added.
The speedboat passengers involved in the collision were thrown “like dolls” from the rigid-inflatable boat (Rib) and into the freezing waters, witnesses have said.
It was 15 minutes before the group could be rescued from the water.
According to police, the excursion was being run by a local tour operator that is co-owned by a current member of Harstad local police force and a former member.
Source: BBC News
Date Published: February 28, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown