Grounded Ocean Explorer pulled free in Greenland

The stranded Ocean Explorer was pulled free by a fishing research ship Thursday, ending a multiday struggle for the expedition vessel that ran aground in the Alpefjord in Northeast Greenland National Park on Monday. 

The Greenland government’s Institute of Natural Resources fishing research ship, the Tarajoq, had unsuccessfully attempted to free the ship on Wednesday but was successful Thursday morning, according to a statement posted to the Joint Arctic Command Denmark Facebook page. The organization, which assists with search and rescue operations in Greenland, had sent one of its vessels to assist the ship, although it was not anticipated to arrive until late Friday. 

Several expedition ships were in the area since the ship ran aground and were informed of the ship’s predicament. Those ships included the Silver Endeavour, the MS Maud from Hurtigruten Expeditions and Quark’s Ocean Adventurer. However, none of the ships were asked to assist and they have since continued with their itineraries as scheduled, spokespeople for the lines said.

According to statements translated into English on the Joint Arctic Command’s Facebook page, the ship is carrying 206 passengers and crew. 

The Ocean Explorer was previously in service for Vantage Deluxe Travel, which filed for bankruptcy this year. The ship is currently being chartered by Aurora Expeditions while the line’s ship, the Greg Mortimer undergoes repairs. Both the Explorer and the Greg Mortimer are owned by SunStone ships and are sister ships in the Infinity class.

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