A cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Greenland on Monday, leaving 206 passengers and crew stranded as officials scramble to reach them.
While traversing a “dramatic and rugged stretch” of Northeast Greenland National Park, The Ocean Explorer ran aground, and despite efforts, has not been able to free itself, CNN reported, citing Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command (JAC). Officials with the JAC have determined that the tide The Ocean Explorer depended on to help navigate its way out of danger, was not sufficient to sail on, the outlet stated.
“As soon as we realized that the Ocean Explorer could not get free on its own, we sent a ship towards the wreck,” Arctic Commander Brian Jensen stated, according to CNN. “As soon as possible, we will also fly over the site to get fresh images to help us assess the situation on site,” Jensen continued.
A luxury cruise ship carrying 206 passengers has run aground off the coast of Greenland. https://t.co/hnnmE84thp
— ABC News (@ABC) September 13, 2023
Encompassing nearly 375,000 miles, Northeast Greenland National Park is the most northerly national park in the world, ABC News reported. As such, passengers and crews may have to wait until Friday morning, depending on the weather, to be rescued as the closest vessel, the Knud Rasmussen, is 1200 nautical miles away, CNN reported. A fishing vessel owned by Greenland’s government, however, will attempt to pull The Ocean Explorer free sometime Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
Aurora Expeditions, the Australia-based company which operates the ship, announced that all passengers and and crew onboard were safe and doing well, adding that there was “no immediate danger to themselves, the vessel, or the surrounding environment,” according to the AP. (RELATED: Red Sea Tour Boat Fire Leaves Three UK Divers Dead)
“We are actively engaged in efforts to free the MV Ocean Explorer from its grounding. Our foremost commitment is to ensure the vessel’s recovery without compromising safety,” Aurora Expeditions stated, according to the outlet.