Ice masses continue to hinder supply | Polarjournal
For days, the supply ship "Malik Arctica" has been trying in vain to bring winter supplies ashore in Ittoqqortoormiit.
The ice map of October 16, 2020 shows a lot of ice in the bay of Ittoqqortoormiit and a large field of drift ice (red frame) which is transported by winds into the fjord. (Photo: Royal Arctic Line)

Since October 7, the Supply Ship “Malik Arctica” operated by the Greenlandic company Royal Arctic Line has been trying in vain to bring ahsore the winter supplies at Ittoqqortoormiit due to challenging ice conditions. A new attempt will be made next week, if the conditions allow. Royal Arctic Line announced this in a press release.

For 10 days, the “Malik Arctica” has been trying to reach the Eastern Greenland community of Ittoqqortoormiit. Difficult conditions prevent the unloading of winter supplies. (Photo: Royal Arctic Line)

On Thursday, the supply ship turned toward Reykjavik to pick up fuel and other supplies. Royal Arctic Line said wind conditions and other weather factors would determine when the ship will reach Ittoqqortoormiit. It stated: “The ice conditions at the moment are a challenge.”

“We remain optimistic about the delivery of winter supplies to the municipality of Ittoqqortoormiit. Therefore, the “Malik Arctica” will return to the area early next week. “The Royal Arctic Line cannot say at this time when the ship will get to Ittoqqortoormiit and unload the cargo, but we are closely monitoring the ice situation,” the ship’s owner said.

The children are eagerly awaiting the supply ship. The inhabitants of Ittoqqortoormiit are in dire need of winter supplies. Next July at the earliest, it is possible for ships to reach this exposed location again. (Foto: Heiner Kubny)

“The unloading in Ittoqqortoormiit is expected to take three days. It is not just a thing to bear in mind that we can get there safely. We have to find stable conditions for unloading and also get out of the area safely,” reads the RAL press release.

The decision to sail therefore is a decision taken both on the basis of weather and ice maps and on the basis of local observations and taking into account the safety of crew, ship and goods.

Ittoqqortoormiit is the northernmost municipality on the eastern side of Greenland with 345 inhabitants. The supply ship usually delivers goods to the remote location only twice a year. Otherwise, the inhabitants live from hunting and fishing.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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