Arctic Expedition Operators Honored for Safety Efforts at Joint SAR Event

Hurtigruten's Maud

The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) announced that Hurtigruten Expeditions, Lindblad Expeditions and Oceanwide Expeditions were awarded for their dedication to enhancing the safety in the North Atlantic Ocean, according to a press release.

The award was given at the Joint Arctic SAR Event in Reykjanes, Iceland, March 20-21.

“We are proud that our members Ponant, Silversea Cruises, Hurtigruten Expeditions, Lindblad Expeditions and Oceanwide Expeditions received recognition for their contributions to the AMVER program, for being part of strengthening international search and rescue efforts,” said Frigg Jørgensen, AECO’s executive director.

The award was given for “the dedication and vigilance of operators who volunteer to enhance the safety of all travelers in the vast and often challenging North Atlantic Ocean”.

At the event, 80 participants from SAR entities, authorities and the expedition cruise industry discussed how expedition cruise ships can be seen as a resource in Arctic waters and its remote communities.

Georg. Kr. Lárusson, director general Icelandic Coastguard, said: “In the spirit of collaboration – let’s use our collective expertise and experience in the face of evolving challenges. Together we have the power to make a meaningful difference in safety.”

During an exercise titled “Arctic Samaritan,” the participants solved a fictive disastrous scenario. The theme was based on an expedition cruise ship serving as a vessel of opportunity, for another ship in distress.

 “The need to work together, to know each other’s roles and responsibilities and to be clear on those, was at the forefront,” said Peter Garapick from Quark Expeditions, who led the exercise.

The manager of Longyearbyen Hospital spoke about the challenges of a hospital in a remote location and limited resources and pointed out that to resolve this, cooperating with the cruise industry is necessary.

 “This event is a space where stakeholders on all levels participate with a common goal: to solve identified challenges together to enhance safety at sea,” added Jørgensen.


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