The Icelandic Coast Guard’s newest patrol ship, Freyja took part in its first rescue operation Thursday, RÚV reports. Freyja towed the Greenlandic fishing vessel Masilik, which had run aground on the Reykjanes peninsula, into the Hafnarfjörður harbour.
A “technological wonder”
On Thursday evening, the Icelandic Coast Guard received word that the Greenlandic fishing vessel Masilik had run aground 500 meters off the shore of Gerðistangi point on the Reykjanes peninsula in Southwest Iceland. Fortunately, the Coast Guard’s newest patrol ship, which arrived in the country in November, was moored in the Hafnarfjörður harbour, having just towed a boat into the port from the north.
At around 7 pm Thursday, Freyja set off toward Gerðistangi, assisted by the towboat Hamar, a helicopter, and a search-and-rescue team.
Speaking to RÚV yesterday morning, Friðrik Höskuldsson, Freyja’s captain, remarked that the ship had performed exceedingly well. “The rescue operation went well. The weather conditions were difficult at first – with winds up to 24 metres per second. It was an offshore breeze, however, so it met us fairly well. It took some time to manage conditions and check for an oil leak.”
Freyja succeeded in extracting Masalik from the cliff upon which it had settled. “Freyja did fantastic. She’s a technological wonder, raising the standard of the Icelandic Coast Guard by a great deal. She’s an excellent ship.”
Better safe than sorry
Masilik arrived in the Hafnarfjörður harbour yesterday morning.
According to Friðrik, the crew of the fishing vessel was never in any real danger, although one can never make such estimations with full confidence. “You never know when something like this happens whether the ship stays on keel or capsizes. In this instance, it worked out okay. But for safety’s sake, we sent the Greenlanders to land … they wanted to get to land, and a vessel from Landsbjörg transported fourteen of the crew to Vogar í Vatnsleysuströnd.