Dutch sailing ship stranded off Norwegian coast with 14 teenagers on board

Photo: Thor Audun Sætran / Redningsskøyta Harald V
Photo: Thor Audun Sætran / Redningsskøyta Harald V

A Dutch sailing ship with 26 people on board, including 14 teenagers, has run aground on the coast of Norway, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported.

The Noorderlicht, a 46 metre long ship, was caught in a snow storm and came a cropper near Rugholmen, a small island north of Trondheim at 2.30am on Thursday.

Rescue services were able to get everyone off the ship without incident, with only the captain and mate remaining. They are waiting for the ship to be towed away, which may take a while because weather conditions are set to get worse.

The Noorderlicht, a former beacon ship which was in service on the Baltic Sea between 1910 and 1963, is owned by Swan Expeditions in Akkrum, which organises educational trips for schools.

The captain has blamed the accident on a mistake made by the crew, NRK said but in a statement on Facebook, Swan Expeditons said the cause is still being investigated.

The company said ‘the atmosphere among the passengers and the students is good’ and that it hopes the trip, to Spitsbergen, will be resumed soon.

It is not the first time a journey on the Noorderlicht has been interrupted. Last year the it had to call in at Lisbon for repairs because of a faulty rudder. The teenagers on board continued their lessons on dry land before sailing on to the Caribbean.

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